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Prosecutors are advised that a pattern of controlling or coercive behaviour can be well established before a single incident is reported.
In many cases the conduct might seem innocent - especially if considered in isolation of other incidents - and the victim may not be aware of, or be ready to acknowledge, abusive behaviour.
Charges selected by a prosecutor should facilitate the clear presentation of the case at court and accurately reflect the extent of the accused's involvement and responsibility, allowing the court appropriate sentencing powers.
When deciding upon the appropriate charge(s), consider the cumulative harm caused to the victim as a result of controlling or coercive behaviour which forms an overall pattern of behaviour.
All CPS polices are gender neutral and all victims should receive the same access to protection and legal redress.
The recognition of these dynamics does not neglect abuse towards men or abuse perpetrated by women.It should also be noted that a victim may not know the full extent of a perpetrator's conduct therefore all potential lines of enquiry should be explored.The Statutory Guidance outlines a non-exhaustive list of the types of evidence that could be used to prove the offence of controlling or coercive behaviour; the following list including and builds on the examples provided in the Statutory Guidance: Even where there is a decision to take no further action, prosecutors should ask police officers to advise the victim to take steps to gather records to support any future investigation.Domestic violence and abuse is defined as:"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: psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional." [Domestic abuse guidelines for prosecutors]"This definition, which is not a legal 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."Section 76 of the Serious Crime Act 2015 created a new offence of controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship.