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UK broadens definition of domestic abuse to include controlling, coercive and threatening behavior

Woman-in-depression-300x200British Home Secretary Theresa May wants men and women who trap their partners in a cycle of emotional cruelty to be prosecuted and jailed under tough new laws proposed by ministers.

Police and prosecutors would be expected to take action against those who trap their partners in a “living hell” through a campaign of psychological and financial control.

Last year, the British government broadened the definition of domestic abuse to encompass “any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or 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.”

New law to imprison bullying partners: Theresa May set to unveil plans to create domestic abuse offence that would carry maximum five year sentence, from Mail Online.

More Info:

Domestic violence laws will now criminalise mental torment, mind games and money controls too… and laws will be applied to those aged under 18, from  Mail Online.

Domestic Violence Law Reform Campaign , from Woman’s Aid.

Domestic Abuse:  from having it all to a life of hell, from the Guardian.

Story suggested by a Lovefraud reader.



Posted in: Laws and courts

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14 Comments on "UK broadens definition of domestic abuse to include controlling, coercive and threatening behavior"

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I think it’s really interesting that the British govt is recognizing that emotional, psychological and financial abuse is just as damaging as physical abuse. I hope this works out.

It’s about time.

I was living there when I first heard of this and thought, before realizing fully the hell I am in here, that hearing this might positively influence my partner. Now I know the only intent is to keep me trapped, as the article references. And watching his ex wife keep him trapped, is at once hilarious and sick. I hope the UK does it well, so others follow suit. This began if I recall correctly, as a reaction to a high-profile person doing this to someone w/o resources. (My situation in a fraudulent marriage.)

I need good legal help, looking in your resources, wishing they were more robust on this site and hoping they will become so. I’d like to learn manipulation to help take steps that are constructive — these people I am near here manipulate only to destroy relationships, seemingly themselves if revealed which I’m on the cusp of doing, be damned the lot of you.

As Switzerland’s law to cap CEO pay shows corporate health, France shows us how to care for children well w their Ecoles Maternelle free for ages 2-5, I hope the UK shows us how to effectively deal with emotional abuse. It sounds promising… my fingers are hopeful and crossed.

There is an article that covers this subject pretty well, below. I’d love to see more. I would love to see UK law as precedence -here-, to help our social/justice system protecting folks being persecuted simply because they are not aggressively abusive, as spaths and abusers have no conscience preventing them from being, here, as I’ve witnessed, being brought up without learning conscience. Some spaths may emerge mysteriously, though the families I’ve observed, and unfortunately am currently surrounded by, featured conscience- and healthy-less psychological upbringings, including physical and emotional abuse, and control so as to smother individual skills, thoughts and desires. I have been witnessing it to the stepkids, when I see them. Mom implants ideas and stops them from pursuing interests they have if I give them tools to pursue them, and Dad talks over them smothering their own thoughts and confidence in learning to speak to adults. I can’t stand it. I ask them to speak, and encourage them to pursue their interests, complimenting their skills, while I hear them putting themselves down, instead of feeling good by my genuine compliment (one of them wrote at a professional level at age 11, so I gave him nice pencils and paper, to encourage his creating books which he had been doing for years. My gifts disappeared). I complimented his writing to encourage him to keep doing this, and he put himself down, after I’d told him I’d edited writers from Chicago Tribune whose writing wasn’t as strong as his books’ writing. Now to please Mom he is enrolled in AP English, and says he hates it, which breaks my heart, instead of his ideas having been encouraged to grow so they’d both love learning. This is heartbreaking as they are only 12-14 years old, kids, in formative years.

On the UK criminalizing emotional, etc, abuse:

http://www.cherwell.org/comment/opinion/2014/09/01/new-domestic-abuse-laws-are-vital-and-long-overdue

NewStepMom – it must be so distressing to witness the covert abuse of kids. I encourage you to do whatever you can to continue to support them. Dr. Liane Leedom has cited research showing that if only one adult will stand by a kid in an abusive situation, it may be enough for the child to come out of it ok.

Thanks for the link, also.

Thank you Donna, I am glad to hear this. I do what I can, which is hard because Mom controls Dad to leave her all of their custody — she blocks my caring for them while Dad travels, and Dad lets her in spite of the divorce decree noting he is responsible for their care if he’s out of town, not Mom. And like my husband having been brought up with angry Mom, he learned to make his Mom happy, as his kids are learning to keep their Mom happy. Mom is unhappy if anyone talks with me and when anyone likes me, which spawns her lying about me.

I always do ask them to express themselves, and note that I want to hear their thoughts and opinions, and encourage their projects and their creating critical thinking skills. I know it’s controversial, though I’m all for what I’ve heard about Common Core, though am in a state without that yet, so in spite of all As, and because of learning to play dumb by Mom and Dad, one can’t think of any way to solve “forgetting” their combination. Just learning abusive and covert manipulation from both parents. Tragically for them, I rarely am exposed to them but do give them that growth encouragement when I’m “allowed” to see them. Total craziness, and exactly, total passive-aggressive/covert abuse, which sickens me.

I’m glad to hear even one adult can make a difference, what some people in the community have told me also so that’s good. But a few hours a month, well, hopefully for their future happiness and relationships’ sake. It is scary, here.

aintgonnatakeitnomore

It is worse. Physical abuse heals. Mental abuse often doesn’t. Some never recover from it.
I would rather be hit than screamed at. When I’m belittled, my heart is shredded. When you knock me in the face, my face can be treated rather easily and in a matter of weeks be ok. My heart never pieces itself back together tho.
Those who are mentally abused as well as physically abused, the vast majority of domestic victims, will tell you the scars that don’t heal are not never seen.

I’ve started to notice hypocrisy as a giant warning sign for this condition, insisted-upon hypocrisy so once addressed, it isn’t fixed — does anyone else see this as a giant red flag and likely indicator of these conscience-less conditions?

Absolutely. Covert abusers put on a show of high morals. Until the world is more familiar with sociopathic manipulation patterns, it is often impossible for a victim to be heard and the abuser to be exposed. In the US, victims not only risk not being believed, there is also an exaggerated fear of libel lawsuits that inhibits them from drawing attention to their plight.

Many people can be hypocritical. I think there is a huge difference between hypocrisy of a normal person and that of a psychopath. Pyschopaths are constantly trying to convince others that they are genuine and good people. Then they do horrendous things to people who have come close to them. Normal people don’t have to try to their hardest to be genuine and kind – it comes natural.
Psychopaths and sociopaths have no genuine kindness or compassion for anyone or anything. In order to manipulate and get what they want from people they must convince those people that they are good.

Genuine good people don’t have to do that. Psychopaths are hypocrites in the way they are always putting an ex down. Say the father of their children. Calling him a deadbeat when he is actually doing all he can and it is just never enough, or the psychopath knows it is a lot but continues to belittle and put down just because… They feel they can. They don’t care that what they do hurts the children the most.

Because eventually 2 things will happen. The belittled and berated parent will feel so defeated he gives up, and cannot fight anymore to see his children. He knows every other wknd he is about to go to war just to be able to see his kids, only to be told 24/7 what a piece of crap father he is. He becomes burnt out. IF the psychopath has brainwashed the children about the other parent, that parent feels nothing he can do will ever matter. He gives up.

Or he stops fighting with the psychopath, he realizes he will NEVER be able to co-parent with the mother of his children. Because she comes from an evil place of deceit, vindictiveness, and hatred. And EVERYTIME he has tried it has basically been a trick, for her own sick pleasure of thinkng she is making Her exes life unbearable. So he stops all interaction with her. His kids have reached an age where he gets them a cell phone and he only communicates with them regarding his time with them. The psychopathic parents hates this because it means she is losing control of the ex. She tried many tactics so that he is forced to make communicate. But he again realizes it’s another trick, and soon he becomes wiser and cuts off all contact. The children get older and they will either see through the other parents craziness or they will be a part of it. If they are able to see through it, they will be happy to communicate with the sane parent and spend time with him. Even though most children choose to have a relationship with both parents. The crazy one and the stable one.
Remember it is the only parents they have. And children brought up in this dysfunction, and it is just a part of their life. Children are very resilient most of the time.

This kind of legislation would have been a huge help during my daughter’s divorce.
In her case, the judge really did not take at all into account the emotional and financial coercion that her sociopath Ex put her through.
Unfortunately, even though there are already laws in existence concerning the placement of a false injunction (which is a 3rd degree felony) her sociopath Ex got away with doing just that as the judge did not take it into account despite overwhelming evidence that this was what he had done.
So while I am pleased that the UK court system is beginning down this path—and hope that the USA courts follow suit . . . if the U.S. judges don’t enforce these laws—they are of no use.

Yes! For a more humane world, we need a judicial system that protects the vulnerable. Unfortunately, there is a high prevalence of psychopathy in the ranks of lawyers and judges.

The evil I am surrounded by is unreal. These people do not care about anyone. Not even themselves. They pretend to be successful CEOs. And my husbands ex was an attorney. Tho she was recently disbarred for life for lying, stealing and fraud and identity theft. Maybe the truth really does come out in the end. Because it seems she is being exposed for who she really is now. No one will help her. She is resorting to all kinds of desperate actions to fool others. My husband has had enough of Her crap. He has not had any communication with her for a year. The kids are older and have chose to live with us now. They see how destructive and abusive she is. They want nothing to do with it.

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