5 years sentence for psychological bullies

Domineering behaviours such as hiding someone’s passport or keys so they can’t escape, stopping your partner from accessing bank accounts, and even non-payment of child support has been recognised as abuse.

A law has been passed with the aim of stopping psychological bullying and emotional violence. It states that emotionally controlling partners can be jailed, even if they don’t use physical violence. Offenders will face a maximum of five years sentence or be asked to pay a reasonable fine.


The Serious Crime Bill makes it a crime to act abusively, be controlling or coercive of your partner, and people who have been bullied in this way now have two years instead of just six months to report it.

Shireen Jamil, aged 60, who says she is herself a former victim of abuse, campaigned for the change in the law.


She told The Express: ‘We have heard that two women a week are killed by their husbands and partners in this country. This figure is unacceptable. But what we are not given is a figure for the number of women who commit suicide every week, due to not just physical violence, but the even more sinister abuse that has finally become a crime. And that is coercive control.’

She added: ‘It is very gratifying to know that future generations will benefit from getting the justice denied me.’

The legal change was made earlier this year, but it didn’t come into force until now so that police and Crown Prosecution Service could learn new guidelines.

Women are now encouraged to speak out and be sure of provisional security from the police and legal bodies. There are also plans to launch a new eight-week consultation aimed at addressing a rise in "stranger stalkings" which often take place online. The "stranger stalking protection order" will hopefully stop stalking before it progresses.



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