Campaigners are working to free nine more women who killed abusive partners after being victims of coercive control, the Mirror can reveal.
Justice for Women – which helped abused wife Sally Challen overturn her murder conviction this week – is supporting the women as they attempt to raise awareness of the form of domestic violence.
And a top lawyer believes the issue will help “dozens, if not hundreds” more victims who have committed offences against partners build a defence.
Julie Bindel, co-founder of Justice for Women, said: “[We] are dealing with 10 cases [including Challen] of women who have killed abusive male partners, all of whom have suffered coercive control, as well as physical and sexual violence.
“Perhaps the courts will think twice about dismissing the ordeals of these women now such abuse has been explained in detail.”
Other cases include Emma-Jayne Magson, who has been granted leave to appeal her conviction for murdering partner James Knight in 2016, and Farieissia Martin, who stabbed childhood sweetheart Kyle Farrell in the heart in 2015.
Details of the other cases have not yet been made public.
Human rights lawyer Harriet Wistrich, who specialises in crimes by abused women, said while coercive control is not in itself a defence, awareness will impact countless women who lashed out at abusers.
She added: “It will potentially help dozens, if not hundreds, of women charged with offences against abusive partners.
“I’m aware of lots of cases where someone did not end up being killed but it does end up being criminalised.
“What it does even more broadly than that is help make women who are in these relationships more aware of it.
“Normally when we think of domestic violence, we think of someone ending up with a black eye.
“But what’s more difficult to name is when someone is behaving unacceptably – and it’s a form of abuse and control.”
It comes after Challen, 65, who killed husband Richard, 61, with a hammer in 2010, had her murder conviction quashed in the Court of Appeal on Thursday after eight years in jail.
A panel of three judges ordered a retrial after hearing psychiatric evidence suggesting that Challen was suffering from two mental disorders at the time.
Ms Bindel added: “The Challen appeal is a hugely important step in recognising coercive control is very real and a form of domestic violence.”
Emma-Jayne was 23 when she stabbed James Knight, 26, in the chest with a steak knife in a 2016 row.
The pair fell in love a year earlier but James soon became “controlling, jealous and aggressive”, according to Justice for Women.
She got life with a minimum 17 years for his murder after a night out in Leicester.
But she is awaiting an appeal after her team said there was new psychiatric evidence.
They say Emma, who has emotionally unstable personality disorder, has another disorder not diagnosed at the time of her trial.
Mother-of-two Farieissia got 13 years for stabbing Kyle Farrell through the heart in 2015.
Having known each other since primary school, they got together aged 16.
But within a year Kyle starting being violent, according to Justice for Women, often leaving her in fear of her life.
The group is supporting the Liverpool mum, who claims he was trying to strangle her when she stabbed him, aged 22.
Lawyers supported by Justice for Women argue the history of violence was not explored in the trial and a mental health assessment was not done.
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