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A new domestic abuse offence

A new domestic abuse offence for “coercive and controlling behaviour” within relationships has been announced by the home secretary.

The maximum penalty for the new offence in England and Wales will be five years in prison and a fine.

Coercive and controlling behaviour can include the abuser preventing their victim from having friendships or hobbies, refusing them access to money and determining many aspects of their everyday life, such as when they are allowed to eat, sleep and go to the toilet.

Witness testimony could be supported at prosecution through a variety of ways, including documentary evidence of threatening emails and text messages, or bank statements that show the perpetrator sought to control the victim financially.

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