LONDON — People who use repeated threats, humiliation and intimidation to control their intimate partners or family members could face prosecution in England and Wales under a law which became effective on Tuesday.

“Coercive or controlling” behaviour can now be prosecuted as a crime punishable by a fine and up to five years in prison. It can be applied only when the behaviour has had a “serious effect” on the victim’s life or causes them to fear violence if they don’t comply.

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