Psychological domestic abuse to be crime
Legislation to criminalise psychological domestic abuse has been published by the Scottish Government.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the measures contained in the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill recognise the “devastating effect” that non-physical abuse can have on victims. The bill creates a specific offence of “abusive behaviour towards a partner or ex-partner”, including psychological abuse, such as coercive and controlling behaviour.
Such behaviour could include subordination, humiliation, isolating a partner from friends, relatives and sources of support, and controlling or monitoring their day-to-day activities.
Speaking at the Glasgow Young Women’s Movement (YWCA) centre, where she met abuse survivors, the first minister said: “The truth is that the psychological scars left by emotional abuse can have devastating effects on victims, and this government will work hard to make sure perpetrators face the justice they deserve. This bill will help our police and prosecutors to hold abusers to account, but importantly, it also shows those who have suffered abuse that we stand with them and will take the steps needed to help them.
“I know that legislation alone will not tackle the scourge of domestic abuse, which is why support services like the one I visited this morning are so important.
“The YWCA, alongside Assist, Scottish Women’s Aid and many other groups, provides a vital lifeline for survivors, and the brave women I met today are a testament to the strength their support can bring.”