New laws on domestic abuse
The law has now accepted that domestic abuse includes “any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse” can be just as severe as physical abuse / violence. The Manchester Evening News published an article yesterday setting out 11 things that it is now illegal for your partner to do. For example sharing explicit images of you, scaring you and / or being extremely jealous are now grounds for prosecution.
The change in the law has largely been prompted by the conviction of Sam White in 2016. White tormented his partner so much that she changed the way she dressed and stopped wearing makeup. Described as a “paranoid and controlling” partner, White was the first person in the Humberside Police area to be prosecuted under the new law and he was jailed for 21 months. The maximum sentence if found guilty is five years imprisonment.
11 things that it is now illegal for your partner to do;
- Share Sexual Explicit images of you – whether on line or showing a third party
- Restrict your access to money – a partner should not restrict your access to funds or requests receipts for money spent
- Repeatedly put you down – name calling, mocking and insulting behaviour should not be tolerated
- Stop you seeing friends or family – you should not be isolated from seeing people
- Scare you – from using their size to intimidate you, punching walls, destroying your possessions or threatening your pets
- Threaten to reveal private things about you – your partner should not threaten to reveal personal and / or private information about you
- Put tracking devices on your phone – by way of spyware or tracking your devices or logging in your social media account
- Being extremely jealous – you should not be accused of cheating or tolerate a possessive partner
- Make you obey their rules – a relationship is not a dictatorship and your partner should not force you to behave in a particular manner
- Control over what you wear – your partner should not dictate what you wear
- Forcing you to do things you don’t want to – from forcing you to have sex, commit a crime or look at pornography
If you, or someone you know, is in an abusive relationship, you can report your concerns to the police by calling 999 or 101. Reporting any incident of domestic abuse or violence to the police, a GP or a health care professional ensures that a record is kept which can be produced at court.