Post-separation abuse amendment now in force – SEA responds

The post-separation abuse amendment came into force today, and the Home Office have published updated statutory guidance on the controlling or coercive behaviour offence, reflecting the amendment.

Dr Nicola Sharp-Jeffs OBE, founder and CEO of Surviving Economic Abuse said,

“We are thrilled to see the post-separation abuse amendment finally come into force. One in four women report that even once they leave an abusive partner, the economic abuse continues – in some cases this behaviour escalates or may even begin as other routes to control through physical proximity are closed down.

Former partners can run up debts, drain joint accounts, and sabotage employment.  This amendment extends protection so that victim-survivors can report this behaviour to the police within the framework of controlling or coercive behaviour, have the opportunity to pursue a prosecution and rebuild their lives.

We want to pay tribute to all the survivors who worked tirelessly alongside us, identifying that this change was needed and bravely speaking out. Your voices helped push this reform through.

The amendment has the potential to change the lives of victim-survivors so we must ensure that any barriers to its effectiveness are removed. Economic abuse remains a lesser known form of abuse, so it is crucial that those working across the justice system are trained to understand and recognise it. We therefore call for enhanced training for police and other criminal justice professionals, so that they more easily recognise economic abuse and in particular how it plays out following separation.”

You can read a full timeline of SEA’s engagement with the Domestic Abuse Act, including the post-separation amendment here.