Widening of domestic violence definition offers hope in parent abuse

A lot of coverage in England and Wales this morning as the Home Office announced the widening of the definition of domestic violence. From March 2013 this will include “coercive control” and lowers the age to include 16 and 17 year olds.  While the government’s intention was to make support more readily available to younger victims, the hope is that youngsters abusing their parents will also be covered by this change as the definition seems to make this possible. Changing the definition is of course only the first step. The way that the police respond to calls will be vital to any progress on this front, so a need for training still; and of course without the availability of resources and the setting up of local protocols the changes remain meaningless.  I am hopeful though!

For a useful discussion about what the changes will mean, see this article from Jo Sharpen in the Guardian.

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