Welsh Women’s Aid are pleased that longer sentences will be given where the killer has a history of coercive or controlling behaviour. It can be incredibly difficult for survivors and those around them to recognise this form of abuse because of the tactics used which are often subtle and can escalate slowly.
Higher sentencing quite rightly reflects the enormous impact that coercive and controlling behaviour can have on a person. Unfortunately, the criminal nature of these behaviours can be misunderstood by those in the justice system. It will be vital to properly record instances of coercive and controlling behaviour in order for the sentencing mechanisms to be accessed.
Whilst charging and conviction rates remain low, the impact of these tougher sentences will be limited. The police, Crown Prosecution Service and those involved in the sentencing process must ensure that coercive and controlling behaviour is properly understood in order for these longer sentences utilised.
Anyone experiencing violence against women, domestic abuse or sexual violence, or abuse, or those concerned about somebody at risk – support is available to you now. Live Fear Free is a confidential and independent helpline that can provide advice and support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 0808 80 10 800 / text 07860077333 / email [email protected]. You can also access the Live Fear Free webchat service here https://www.gov.wales/live-fear-free/domestic-abuse-wales.