Psychological Abuse Legislation

Recent changes to the law have now made psychological abuse within a relationship illegal. “Coercive control” is now an offence that recognises domestic abuse can take many forms. It is not limited to physical violence. Previous laws did not cover a range of 10 actions that may now be illegal.


Here are the new actions that may form “coercive control” in a relationship.

Sharing sexually explicit images of a partner

‘Revenge porn’ makes it illegal for someone to share intimate photographs of you with anyone, online or offline.

Restricting access to finances

The law says your partner cannot stop you from accessing money within the relationship, even if you partner earns more than you.

Putting you down and undermining you

Persistent name-calling, mocking or other forms of insulting behaviour are now illegal.

Stopping a partner from seeing friends or relatives

Bblocking calls and emails, stopping you  seeing your friends or relatives or preventing you going to certain places is now against the law.

Frightening you

Your partner does not have to physically assault you to scare you. They could be smashing things up or using threats to intimidate you.

Threatening to reveal confidential things about you

Repeatedly threatening to reveal secrets about you including details of  health or sexual orientation can be now be illegal.

Putting tracking devices on your phone

It is now illegal for a partner to  “monitor a person using online communication tools or spyware”.

Extreme  jealousy

Persistently accusing someone of being unfaithful and “extreme jealousy, including possessiveness and ridiculous accusations of cheating” are all covered by the new legislation.

Forcing you to obey by their rules

If a partner is forced to follow stringent rules set by a partner, it could mean they are committing a crime according to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Controlling what you wear

Controlling what you wear and how you look may also be grounds for prosecution under the new legislation.


If you need legal help with any family situation including divorce, separation, child matters or any other matter, please ask Madeleine Young for help.


You can contact her on 0118 957 5337

Published on 24/02/2020

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