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Government announces new definition of domestic violence

The Government has announced a new cross-government definition of domestic violence, which will include victims aged 16 and 17.

The Government has also announced that:

  • the definition of domestic violence will now include ‘coercive control’. The previous definition defined domestic violence as a single act or incident. The new definition recognises that patterns of behaviour and separate instances of control can add up to abuse – including instances of intimidation, isolation, depriving victims of their financial independence or material possessions and regulating their everyday behaviour; and
  • a new NSPCC young people’s panel has been established to help inform the Government’s work on tackling domestic violence, particularly by and against young people.

The decision to create a new definition for domestic violence follows a 15-week consultation which took views from the public, victims, charities and frontline agencies.

The consultation found that excluding 16 and 17-year-olds from the definition left young victims without the help they need to change their situation and escape abusive relationships.

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