To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the prevalence of animal abuse being used as a means coercive control in domestic abuse situations; and what plans the Government has to tackle that form of abuse.
12 March 2021
Domestic abuse can encompass a wide range of behaviours and can affect all parts of a victim’s life and relationships. This includes the use of pets as a tool to coerce, control or threaten victims.
The Domestic Abuse Bill will help to better protect and support the victims of all forms of domestic abuse and help bring perpetrators to justice. As part of this, the Government will be strengthening legislation on controlling or coercive behaviour so that abusers can still be prosecuted even when they no longer live with their victims.
The statutory guidance which accompanies the legislation is designed to provide explanation of the different characteristics of domestic abuse, and includes reference to how pets may be used by perpetrators. The guidance will be published for a formal consultation after Royal Assent.
Additionally, this year the government will be publishing a new Domestic Abuse Strategy which will build on the work of the Bill to transform our response to domestic abuse.