On 24 April 2023, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) issued updated guidance on controlling behaviour, emphasising the need for prosecutors to closely scrutinise a suspect’s actions, who often disrupts or misleads criminal proceedings (here).
A suspect may make counter-allegations of abuse, argue self-defence and even apply for a Non-Molestations Order or seek a variation of an existing restraining order to exert more control over the victim.
Most importantly, the CPS prosecution guidance on controlling and coercive behaviour and stalking or harassment has been updated to include ‘love-bombing’.
‘Love-bombing’ is where a perpetrator will intermittently carry out loving acts, such as sending flowers or gifts, between other behaviours to confuse the victim and gain more control.
The Chief Crown Prosecutor Kate Brown, national lead for domestic abuse at the CPS has stated that the impact of stalking or controlling or coercive behaviour, including ‘love-bombing’, on victims is never underestimated. This is why prosecutors consider all of the evidence, including how the victim is impacted, when building a robust case to present to the court and applying for any necessary protective orders on behalf of the victim.
The CPS has released the following statistics demonstrating their commitment to justice and tackling this detrimental crime:
- The charging rate for domestic abuse cases is around 75%;
- For domestic abuse cases, it takes approximately 25 days from the first police contact to either a CPS charging decision or a request for further information; and
- Adult rape referrals from police have increased 69%, and the number of adult rape cases charged has risen by 86% since January 2021.
Responding to the inclusion of ‘love-bombing’ in the CPS Guidance Women’s Aid have stated (here):
“We welcome the inclusion of love bombing in the Crown Prosecution Service’s guidance on abuse. Love bombing is a dangerous tactic often used by abusers in the early stages of the relationship to set the scene for coercive control…
…. Controlling and coercive behaviour takes many forms, with these often being misunderstood, minimised and downplayed. Although love bombing might seem innocent, or even romantic, it is a controlling tactic of abuse which can be frightening for a victim or a warning sign that abuse is escalating.”
If ‘love-bombing’ or other controlling or coercive behaviours are a feature of your case please contact us for a 30-minute free video chat, web chat or telephone call to start the conversation and to see how we can help. We are available 24/7 through the following platforms:
Telephone: 0345 222 0452