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Psychological abuse – change in law

Children will be better protected under new plans to update the child cruelty law.  The change will make it clear that it is a crime to inflict cruelty which is likely to cause psychological suffering or injury to a child. Offenders will face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison whether the harm is physical or psychological in nature.

The existing child cruelty law already allows cases to be brought for neglect, ill-treatment, abandonment and other forms of cruelty to children but the current law does not make it clear that this also includes cruelty likely to cause emotional harm.

The planned update to the law will be made in the new Serious Crime Bill.