Information from the AVA seminar on Coercive Control: Using the legislation, 28 January 2016
Coercive control describes a range or pattern of behaviours that enable a perpetrator to maintain or regain control of a partner, ex-partner or family member. Compared to victims of stalking and harassment or physical abuse, those experiencing coercive control are less likely to report it to the police, instead preferring to speak to family/friends, health professionals or work colleagues. There is compelling evidence that the combination of coercion and control is one of the most devastating form of abuse as well as the most common.
On 18th December 2014 following a consultation the government announced a new domestic abuse criminal offence of coercive and controlling behaviour. The new law will protect victims by criminalising patterns of coercive and controlling behaviour that amount to extreme psychological and emotional abuse, even where this does not develop into serious physical violence. The commencement date for the offense is 29th December 2015. Guidance for professionals was launched on 5th December 2015.
Objectives of the seminar
This seminar gave delegates a chance to hear from experts on the new coercive control legislation and discuss practical issues around advocating for survivors.
- Understand the new legal definition of coercive control
- How to support victims of coercive control
- What evidence needs to be collected to prove & prosecute the offence of coercive control?
- Joanna Sharpen, Policy Manager at AVA, provided context for the new legislation. To see the presentation, click Joanna Sharpen Coercive Control Seminar Presentation Jan 2016.
- Jenny Hopkins, the CPS Chief Crown Prosecutor Champion for VAWG, spoke on Evidential requirements for proving coercive control – Top tips for types of evidence to look for and how best to collect it. To see the presentation, click Jenny Hopkins Coercive Control Seminar Presentation Jan 2016.
- Dr. Emma Katz, lecturer in Childhood & Youth at Liverpool Hope University, spoke on The impact of coercive control on parenting (specifically for the non-abusive parent/mother) and the impacts on children. To see the presentation, click Emma Katz Coercive Control Seminar Presentation Jan 2016.
- Tracey Hardey, Interim Chief Operations Officer at Paladin National Stalking Advocacy Service, spoke on How coercive control is an integral part of stalking (both on and offline) and how advocates can support victims. To see the presentation, click Tracey Hardy Paladin Coercive Control Seminar Presentation Jan 2016.
- Dr. Jane Monckton-Smith, senior lecturer of criminology at University of Gloucestershire, spoke on her Domestic Abuse and Stalking Reference Tool. To see the presentation, click Jane Monckton-Smith Coercive Control Seminar Presentation Jan 2016.