The definition of domestic abuse has been widened to cover psychological intimidation and controlling behaviour and apply to victims under the age 18. The Government revised 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:
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.”
This definition, which is not a legal definition, is clear that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group. It also includes honour based abuse, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage.To make a disclosure of domestic violence either for yourself or someone else contact Essex Police’s Domestic Abuse Central Referral Unit by calling us on 101 extension 180340 or call Essex Police's dedicated domestic abuse non-emergency number 0800 358 0351.
Essex Police Website
If you are experiencing domestic violence, you can call the 24 hour on 0808 2000 247 (run in partnership between Women's Aid & Refuge).
Safer Places Booklet - domestic abuse support services in Essex