Legal Assistant Jessica Maguire has written an article for Solicitors Journal on the perception of coercive control in the current justice system:
At the time of Mrs Challen’s trial, controlling and coercive behaviour was not a criminal offence. On 29 December 2015, however, s76 Serious Crime Act 2015 created the offence of controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship.
A person (A) commits an offence if he or she repeatedly or continuously engages in behaviour towards another person (B) that is controlling or coercive, at the time they are personally connected, the behaviour has a serious effect on B, and A knows or ought to know that the behaviour will have a serious effect on B.
Home Office guidance lists examples of coercive behaviour including isolating people from their friends and family, monitoring their time and depriving them of their basic needs. The police recorded 9,053 offences of controlling and coercive behaviour in the year ending March 2018.
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