New government plans outline a change to law following findings made by Clare Wade KC in an independent review. Domestic killers with previous histories of coercive and controlling behaviour towards their ex-partner will now face tougher sentences. A public consultation will take place to decide if this crime will carry a higher sentencing starting point of 25 years. The changes to law also include excessive or gratuitous violence as an aggravating factor in sentencing decisions.

These measures have been put in place as a step towards the government’s zero tolerance approach to violence against women and girls.

Patrick Ryan, Chief Executive of Hestia said:

“Far too many people across the UK lose their lives to a current or former partner. As a specialist domestic abuse charity, Hestia welcomes these tougher sentences and we now await a more detailed and resourced plan. In particular, we welcome the recognition of other forms of violence including coercive control. Survivors often tell us that they have endured years of abuse before physical violence escalates and it’s right that we take this into account when sentencing.”

Read the Ministry of Justice’s announcement