New domestic abuse rules should be welcomed

It’s so rare that we find a reason to applaud the government, I thought I should flag it up: The definition of domestic abuse has been widened to cover psychological intimidation and controlling behaviour.

From now on, these definitions will apply to victims aged 16 and 17, along with adults.

Take a look at the statistics: Police receive one report of domestic violence every minute. This is a huge issue across the country. It’s rife.

But there is no specific criminal offence of domestic violence. A definition referring to “threatening behaviour, violence or abuse” was adopted in 2004 but police and prosecutors interpreted the term in a narrow way that is believed to have let some perpetrators off.

This is a huge problem with many legal definitions – in trying to be exact, to make it easier to catch criminals, the lawyers make it easier for them to get away.

Now, preventing a partner from leaving the house or using a phone could lead to a prosecution.

I’ve known a lot of people – both male and female – who have suffered torturous lives because of dominating partners. This could really help them out.

As long as the lawyers don’t mess it up.

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