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The Government has expanded the official definition of domestic violence to include young people under 18.

They hope that this change will help to increase awareness that young people in this age group do experience domestic violence and abuse as was high-lighted in the 2009/2010 British Crime Survey which found that 16-19 year-olds were the group most likely to suffer abuse from a partner

This new definition of domestic violence and abuse now states:

“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.

This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional

Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.”

The definition includes so called ‘honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation and forced marriage.

If you have been the victim of domestic abuse our specialist advisers can help you take back control of your life – call us now on 01902 577779.

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