HUNDREDS of controlling and coercive behavior offenses were registered in Sussex last year, figures show.
Home Office figures show Sussex Police received 845 reports of checking and coercive behavior in the year to March – although this is down from 1,030 in 2020 to 2021, the first year such crimes are included in the data.
Compulsory control, punishable by up to five years in prison, has been a criminal offense since a landmark law was introduced in 2015.
Abusers can be punished if they subject a partner or family member to engaging in controlling behavior, such as B. isolating them, exploiting them financially, depriving them of their basic needs, humiliating them, scaring them or threatening them.
Across England and Wales, 41,300 controlling and coercive behavior offenses were recorded in 2021/22 – more than a third up from 30,800 the year before.
Jeffrey DeMarco, associate director of charity Victim Support, said: “It’s so important that we recognize emotional abuse for what it is and call it out when we see it.
“TV, streaming, and other social media have normalized coercive and controlling behavior, and that has serious consequences.
“Domestic violence isn’t just physical violence — and manipulative behavior has no place in healthy relationships.”
READ MORE: 10 Signs of Compulsive Control in a Relationship
Mr DeMarco said the rise in crime could be due to more people reporting abuse to the police, but it is “worrying” that the number of charges related to these crimes is also declining.
In Sussex, 815 forced inspection cases were closed last year, with 93.9 per cent being dropped due to difficulties in gathering evidence and just 2.7 per cent resulting in a suspect being charged or summoned to appear in court.
This compares to 92.6 percent abandoned and 2.3 percent billed in 2020-2021.
The Home Office said controlling or coercing behavior is a “particularly insidious” form of domestic abuse and does not always end at the point of separation.
A spokeswoman said: “Therefore, our landmark Domestic Abuse Act of 2021 has expanded the offense of controlling or coercing behavior so that it applies regardless of whether the victim and abuser live together.”
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20588232.sussex-police-records-hundreds-coercive-behaviour-offences/?ref=rss Sussex Police have recorded hundreds of forced actions