Serious Crimes Act 2015

Serious Crimes Act 2015


On 29th December 2015 a new act came into force –

The Serious Crime Act 2015 (SCA 2015).

Section 76 of SCA 2015

Conviction offence of ‘Serious Crimes Act’

carries a maximum sentence of 5 years.

Created a new offence of coercive and controlling behaviour in intimate or family relationships.

This provided an opportunity for victims of domestic abuse, not just domestic violence, to pursue prosecution of a perpetrator who has repeatedly engaged in abusive behaviour.

To claim emotional abuse, there must be two or more incidents that occurred, allowing the perpetrator to

  • Exert Power.

  • Coercion.

  • control over the victim.

Such control can be psychological, financial, sexual, verbal and emotional abuse.

It can also include

  • Threats.

  • Humiliation.

  • Intimidation.

  • Isolation.

Prior to Serious Crime Act 2015 coming into force, it was difficult to prove in criminal proceedings that such behaviour amounted to harassment within intimate or family relationships.

In the past, domestic abuse cases were commonly dealt with as

  • Common assault.

  • Prosecuted as criminal damage.

  • Threats to kill.

  • Harassment.

  • Threats.

  • Sexual assault.

But if a victim’s circumstances were none of the above, there were often nothing they could do until it was too late.

In order to assist with proving coercive and controlling behaviour there is an array of evidence that can be used:

  • Phone records.

  • Emails.

  • Texts.

  • Social media.

  • Photographs.

  • Recordings.

  • 999 transcripts.

  • CCTV.

  • Lifestyle.

  • Household.

  • Medical records.

  • Witness testimonies.

  • Bank records.

  • Previous threats made to other family members.

  • Diaries.

  • Others.

The Serious Crime Act 2015 is a change in the criminal sphere, which will hopefully benefit many more victims.

Some may even argue that the creation of this new offence may serve as a deterrent and thus a prevention of such abuse in the future.

Further, ancillary orders can be made, such as

However, until this new law takes heed and is known in this modern world, the Family Law Act 1996 will continue to serve victims of all types of domestic abuse.

I would love to hear from you all and tell me what Laws Protect you so I can update this blog and help many more people who need to know how they can be helped. Get in touch.

Related Topics

Emotional/Psychological/Mental Abuse

Family Law Act 1996

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