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New law: Government plans to make 'economic abuse' a domestic abuse crime

A person in a relationship with someone who uses finances to exercise coercive control over them will be able to take advantage of proposals to make 'economic abuse' a form of domestic abuse, as such cases continue to rise during the COVID-19 pandemic.

January 2021

This update was published in Legal Alert - January 2021

Legal Alert is a monthly checklist from Atom Content Marketing highlighting new and pending laws, regulations, codes of practice and rulings that could have an impact on your business.

The new laws define economic abuse as 'behaviour that has a substantial adverse effect on a person's ability to acquire, use or maintain money or other property, or obtain goods and services'. This could include where the abuser:

  • Has sole control of the family income.
  • Stops the target from claiming benefits.
  • Stops the target's access to a mobile phone, transport, utilities or food.
  • Damages the target's property.
  • Interferes with the target's work, training or employment, or arranges for their pay to go into an account controlled by the abuser.
  • Withholds financial information from the target.
  • Interrogates the target about their spending.

Operative date

  • Now


  • Those targeted by abusers in these or any other ways should seek help and advice immediately and urgently.

Disclaimer: This article from Atom Content Marketing is for general guidance only, for businesses in the United Kingdom governed by the laws of England. Atom Content Marketing, expert contributors and ICAEW (as distributor) disclaim all liability for any errors or omissions.

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