Amendment 141

Part of Domestic Abuse Bill - Committee (4th Day) – in the House of Lords at 9:45 pm on 3 February 2021.

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Lord Marks of Henley-on-Thames:

Moved by Lord Marks of Henley-on-Thames

141: After Clause 68, insert the following new Clause—“Controlling or coercive behaviour by persons providing psychotherapy or counselling services(1) A person (“A”) commits an offence if—(a) A is a person providing or purporting to provide psychotherapy or counselling services to another person (“B”),(b) A repeatedly or continuously engages in behaviour towards B that is controlling or coercive,(c) the behaviour has a serious effect on B, and(d) A knows or ought to know that the behaviour will or may have a serious effect on B.(2) A’s behaviour has a “serious effect” on B if—(a) it causes B to fear, on at least two occasions, that violence will be used against B, or(b) it causes B psychological harm which has a substantial adverse effect on B's usual day-to-day activities.(3) For the purposes of subsection (1)(d) A “ought to know” that which a reasonable person in possession of the same information would know.(4) In proceedings for an offence under this section it is a defence for A to show that— (a) in engaging in the behaviour in question, A believed that he or she was acting in B’s best interests, and(b) the behaviour was in all the circumstances reasonable.(5) A is to be taken to have shown the facts mentioned in subsection (4) if—(a) sufficient evidence of the facts is adduced to raise an issue with respect to them, and(b) the contrary is not proved beyond reasonable doubt.(6) The defence in subsection (4) is not available to A in relation to behaviour that causes B to fear that violence will be used against B.(7) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable—(a) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or a fine, or both;(b) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months, or a fine, or both.”