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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/new-government-domestic-violence-and-abuse-definition/circular-0032013-new-government-domestic-violence-and-abuse-definition
We are extending the definition of domestic violence and abuse so that young people aged 16 and 17 and wording to capture coercive control will be included.
The new definition will be implemented from 31 March 2013.
1. New definition
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:
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.
This definition includes so called ‘honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, and is clear that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group.
Whilst this is not a legislative change, the definition will send a clear message to victims about what does constitute domestic violence and abuse.
We encourage you to review your guidance and policies on domestic violence and abuse to reflect the change in definition.
You can read more about the new definition on the [Domestic Violence] (http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/crime/violence-against-women-girls/domestic-violence/) policy page on Home Office website.