The Bill, introduced last year, will create a specific offence of domestic abuse that will cover not just physical abuse but also other forms of psychological abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour that cannot easily be prosecuted using existing criminal law. The Bill is expected to reach the final stage of the parliamentary process early this year.
“Attitudes towards domestic abuse are changing – it’s no longer seen as a private matter, or no business of criminal law,” said Justice Secretary Michael Matheson. “We’re doing everything we can to tackle the scourge that is domestic abuse at every opportunity – supporting victims, tackling perpetrators with enhanced legislation, and also tackling the underlying attitudes and inequalities that very often create the conditions for violence against women and girls to take place. There’s no place for it in Scotland and this new funding will greatly assist in tackling it.”
“We know that the controlling behaviours, used by perpetrators to maintain power and control over victims, can be both devious and devastating,” added Assistant Chief Constable Gillian MacDonald, Police Scotland. “However to those outwith the relationship, the ways in which a perpetrator will conceal their actions can often make them appear innocuous in isolation. We have committed to this critical training to address these issues so our officers and staff can better recognise the signs of controlling behaviours in domestic abuse, support victims and bring perpetrators to justice.”
Defending a domestic abuse charge can be complex and expert legal advice from the outset is essential. Contact us to speak with one of our specialist criminal defence lawyers today.