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A purple ribbon - worn to promote awareness of domestic violence. By MesserWoland [GFDL], CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Dr Bishop publishes co-authored article in the Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly

The article is entitled: 'Is the Creation of a Discrete Offence of Coercive Control Necessary to Combat Domestic Violence?’

In this article, Dr Charlotte Bishop and Vanessa Bettinson (Senior Lecturer, de Montfort University) critically assess the new criminal offence of ‘coercive and controlling behaviour’ under section 76 Serious Crime Act 2015.

The new offence is intended to provide protection for victims of domestic abuse where the harm is non-physical in nature, something the authors identify as being necessary due to the existence of a legislative gap in terms of the criminal justice protection currently available for victims of domestic violence and/or abuse. This legislative gap results from the misconception that the harm of domestic violence primarily results from the infliction of physical harm, thus leaving many victims who experience coercive control and emotional and psychological abuse outside of the law’s protection.

Bettinson and Bishop argue that the new offence, despite clear limitations and evidential difficulties, goes some way towards providing state condemnation and legal protection for victims where the harm is non-physical in nature.

Date: 6 August 2015

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