Psy­cho­log­i­cal do­mes­tic abuse to be crime

The Press and Journal (Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS -

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.”

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