Controlling and coercive behaviour

8 August 2019

Controlling and coercive behaviour - “This isn’t what love should feel like”

The recent Channel 4 drama “I am Nicola” sought to portray the dynamics of a couple, Nicola and Adam, with a serious imbalance of power in their relationship - with the central theme of coercive control. Stacey Nevin explores the issues, including the interplay between family law proceedings and the criminal offence of controlling and coercive behaviour.

Stacey Nevin

8 May 2019

Coming soon: the Domestic Abuse Bill

On 21 January 2019, the draft Domestic Abuse Bill (“the Bill”) was published by the Government. The stated aim of the Bill is to protect and support victims and their families, pursue and deter offenders and improve the performance of local agencies and services in instances of domestic abuse.  It is of relevance to both criminal and family law practitioners.

David Sleight

30 August 2018

The criminal offence of controlling and coercive behaviour: avoiding the potential pitfalls in family proceedings

The criminal offence of Controlling and Coercive behaviour in an intimate and family relationship should be of key significance to family lawyers. Family lawyers know all too well that allegations of harassment and domestic abuse are regularly raised in the context of a relationship breakdown - and instances of Controlling and Coercive behaviour from one partner or spouse towards the other may, once raised, play a significant role in both the divorce and any children proceedings. An allegation of Controlling and Coercive behaviour may give rise to a criminal complaint and an intrusive police investigation. Whether your client has accused their partner of Controlling and Coercive behaviour or is the subject to a police investigation following such an allegation, it is critical to synchronise the criminal and family law advice. This article provides guidance through the tricky and unpredictable process.

Alexandra Bishop

10 April 2018

Domestic abuse and controlling & coercive behaviour in an intimate or familial relationship

Each unhappy relationship is unhappy in its own way. Sadly for some, emotional and physical abuse is an every-day reality. A combination of fear, loyalty and coercion often prevents action, much to the disbelief of family and friends. Words like these seem extraordinary in 2018. Surely no one need live like this? The reality is that it is only in the very recent past that both criminal and family law have fully evolved to provide real recognition and protection for adults and children in abusive relationships. Victims of domestic abuse don’t have much to be thankful for but it is good news that the law is finally on their side.

1 March 2018

Coercive control and its effect on family court cases

It is now three years since the Serious Crimes Act 2015 received royal assent, creating a new offence of coercive behaviour in intimate or familial relationships. Last week the Sentencing Council recommended harsher sentences for offences in a domestic setting that have the capacity for lasting psychological and emotional effect. These changes not only have an impact on criminal cases of domestic abuse, but also divorce and family justice related cases too, because criminal proceedings often have a bearing on divorce and children cases.

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