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NI makes coercive control criminal offence

Controlling or coercive behaviour is now against the law in Northern Ireland.

The province has enacted legislation introduced in other parts of the United Kingdom during the past decade.

The Domestic Abuse and Civil Proceedings Act (Northern Ireland) 2021 covers psychological, emotional or financial abuse of another person as well as sexual, technological or digital abuse.

Domestic abuse represents around a fifth of all crimes reported to Northern Ireland’s police service, with an average of one report every 17 minutes.

Chief constable Simon Byrne said: “This legislation will support victims and will provide police with a clear definition on what constitutes domestic abuse with access to further tools to arrest and prosecute offenders and prevent harm.”

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