Thursday, January 24, 2019
Non-physical and economic abuse are to be included in the first legal definition of domestic abuse as part of a landmark overhaul of the law.
Under the draft laws, a wide range of measures will also include domestic abusers being banned from cross-examining victims in family courts.
The home secretary said the changes would "bolster protection for victims".
Campaigners say the measures are a "once in a generation" opportunity to combat the impact of abuse.
Dr Nicola Sharp-Jeffs, the director of the charity Surviving Economic Abuse, said adding economic abuse to the legal definition was "highly significant" and would give victims "more confidence" when they came forward.
The draft bill going before MPs will also:
Create new powers to force perpetrators into behaviour-changing rehabilitation programmes
Make victims automatically eligible for special protections when they are giving evidence in criminal trials
Set up a national "domestic abuse commissioner" tasked with improving the response and support for victims across public services
The definition of domestic abuse will specifically recognise that it goes beyond crimes of violence and includes victims who are psychologically coerced and manipulated, as well as those who have no control of their finances.
The legislation will also clarify the workings of "Clare's Law" - a measure introduced four years ago to permit police to tell a member of the public if there are concerns over about previous violence committed by their partner.