Safeguarding, Domestic Violence and Abuse


Domestic violence and abuse is: any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:


· psychological

· sexual

· financial

· emotional

A new offence of coercive and controlling behaviour in intimate and familial relationships was introduced into the Serious Crime Act 2015. The offence will impose a maximum 5 years imprisonment, a fine or both.


The offence closes a gap in the law around patterns of coercive and controlling behaviour during a relationship between intimate partners, former partners who still live together, or family members, sending a clear message that it is wrong to violate the trust of those closest to you, providing better protection to victims experiencing continuous abuse and allowing for earlier identification, intervention and prevention.


The offence criminalising coercive or controlling behaviour was commenced on 29 December 2015. Read the accompanying statutory guidance for further information.


(Care Act 2014, Care and Support statutory guidance, Department of Health, updated 24 March 2016)

Report abuse