UK Press release distribution

Definition Of Domestic Abuse Widened To Include 16 And 17 Year Olds

Cheshire, UK ( prfire ) November 6, 2012 – The government has announced that the definition of domestic abuse and violence in England and Wales is changing to include victims aged 16 and 17. Previously, domestic violence laws only applied to those over the age of 18. It has also been changed to cover a wider range of abusive behaviour including intimidation, threats and coercive control.

This decision was announced following a government consultation, which saw an overwhelming demand for these changes.

It is believed that changing the definition of domestic abuse will increase awareness, and encourage victims to step forward and access support.

The NSPCC will be setting up a Young People’s Panel to work with the government on a domestic violence policy and the work needed to effectively tackle violence against young people.

The new definition will be implemented in March 2013 and has been changed to:

“Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse:

- Psychological

- Physical

- Sexual

- Financial

- Emotional

“Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.”Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.”

Tina Royles is the UK’s leading expert in domestic violence with over 20 years’ experience on the frontline and on a strategic level. She provides domestic violence counselling and consultancy to individuals and organisations. She says:

“The introduction of the ‘new’ definition will hopefully provide more clarity on what domestic violence is and who it might affect.

“One important factor is to highlight the age bracket to include 16 and 17 year olds; as some statutory organisations have not factored this age group into their statistics and dealings with domestic violence.

“Violence and abuse within teenage relationships isn’t something new, key agencies that I have worked closely with have been taking domestic violence education into some proactive schools from as early as 1997, but specifically since 2005 work was being carried out by all local authorities domestic violence forums and groups who were given specific government targets to address regarding domestic violence (Best Value Performance Indicators 2005-2008 and later 2008-2011National Indicators) and one of the targets was to take domestic violence education into schools, through the Domestic Violence forum I coordinated we were able to take the domestic violence education into the schools not as a stand alone toolkit but were able to incorporate it into the specific PSHE curriculum.”

Notes to Editors

Tina Royles is one of the UK’s most qualified and experienced domestic violence experts providing consultancy and advice to those who have suffered domestic violence, are currently in violent relationships or to friends and family of those affected. Tina provides the domestic violence information, materials and tools to manage relationship difficulties and domestic violence through awareness and education and is regularly called upon by the national and local press to provide expert comments on high profile cases. To find out more about what domestic violence is, <a href=”http://www.tinaroyles.com/what-is-domestic-violence”>click here</a> . <a href=”http://www.tinaroyles.com/”>Visit Tina Royles website</a> to find out more about domestic violence and the resource available to individuals and organisations.

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