Legislation Now Makes It Illegal For Your Partner To Mentally Control You
You may not have heard of it before but there is a new-ish law that makes it illegal to subject your partner to 'controlling or coercive behaviour' in an intimate or family relationship.
Physical abuse has been illegal for decades and it's the first thing we think of when we hear the term 'domestic violence' but under this law, psychological abuse is now being recognised as a crime.
Earlier this year Tobias Coggins was sentenced for two offences of coercive and controlling behaviour after he prohibited his partner from brushing her teeth or washing her hair.
A possessive and jealous Coggins, who was 17 to 18 at the time, wouldn't allow his younger girlfriend to have a bath unless he was 'sat on the toilet seat watching'.
Then he would proceed to forbid her from washing her hair because 'if she had greasy hair, at least nobody at school would fancy her'.
He was handed a suspended prison sentence but the offence carried a maximum jail term of up to five years, according to the Manchester Evening News.
Now, the Hull Daily Mail have outlined the things that have been made illegal for your partner to do.
First is sharing sexually explicit images of you - either online or not. New laws surrounding 'revenge porn' make it against the law for someone to share intimate photographs of you with anyone.
Next up is restricting your access to money - even if your partner brings in more money, they cannot stop you from accessing money and should not give 'punitive allowances'.
Some victims have been known to provide receipts for all spending to their partners - not cool.
Then there's repeatedly putting someone down. This might be one many people can relate to, unfortunately. If your partner constantly insults you, calls you names or mocks you - it's all part of the legislation now.
Alison Saunders, director of public prosecutions, said: "Being subjected to repeated humiliation, intimidation or subordination can be as harmful as physical abuse, with many victims stating that trauma from psychological abuse had a more lasting impact than physical abuse."
Number four is stopping you from seeing friends or family and being isolated from people that you love. Whether it's checking your calls and blocking numbers, telling you where you can go and who you can see.
Another one is scaring you, it might not be physically assaulting you but if they are doing enough to frighten you. It could be using their size to intimidate toy, shouting, destroying your belongings, punching walls. Then there's the more obvious things such as possessing a knife or gun and threatening to kill or harm you.
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One thing some people may not be as aware of is threats of suicide. If your partner tells you they will harm themselves if you leave them, this is also covered by the law.
Then there's threats to reveal private things about you - this might be in regards to your health or sexual orientation for example - whatever it may be, it's a form of abuse.
Next is putting a tracking device on your phone, this is one you may not know about but if you do find out then you can press charges as it is illegal to 'monitor a person using online communication tools or spyware'.
Jealousy. Some people will be guilty of a little jealousy, others may even believe it's 'healthy' and say that it's nice to know someone is 'afraid to lose you'.
Not according to Humberside Police who say that 'extreme jealousy, including possessiveness and ridiculous accusations of cheating' all come under the new guidelines.
If your partner makes you obey them and their rules this could also mean they are committing a crime.
The Crown Prosecution Service guidelines says these include rules which 'humiliate, degrade or dehumanise the victim', while Women's Aid says examples include telling you that you have no choice in decisions.
Next up is controlling what you wear or generally taking over any part of your life.
And finally, forcing you to do things you don't want to do if part of the law now. This could be a whole list of different things including having sex when you don't want to, forcing you to look at pornographic material or forcing you to have sex with other people.
The CPS director of public prosecutions, Alison Saunders, said: "These new powers mean this behaviour, which is particularly relevant to cases of domestic abuse, can now be prosecuted in its own right.
"Police and prosecutors are being trained to recognise patterns of abusive behaviour which can be regarded as criminal abuse. We will do everything in our power to tackle this abhorrent crime."
For advice and support, call the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 or visit the National Centre for Domestic Violence website to make a referral or speak to someone - www.ncdv.org.uk.
If you, or someone you know, is in an abusive relationship, you can report your concerns to police by calling 999 or 101.
Featured Image Credit: PA