New law against 'controlling' behavior takes effect in UK; goal is to stop psychological abuse

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Physical violence will no longer be needed to prosecute someone for abusing their partners or family members in England and Wales.

A law taking effect Tuesday will make it a crime to use repeated threats, humiliation and intimidation to control people.

It will mean that "coercive or controlling" behavior can be seen as domestic abuse and can be prosecuted as a crime.

Authorities say stopping someone from socializing, controlling their social media access or using apps to put them under surveillance will in some cases be covered by the new legislation.

Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders says this type of behavior "can limit victims' basic human rights."

She said many victims say the trauma from psychological abuse is worse than the trauma of physical abuse.