Vote On New Psychological Abuse Law

1 February 2018, 08:33 | Updated: 1 February 2018, 08:35

Domestic abuse

Scottish Women's Aid has been given an extra £165,000 as Holyrood is expected to pass a new law on domestic abuse.

The cash will pay to train staff at the charity to promote understanding of the new offence of coercive control which the legislation will create.

The Domestic Abuse Bill creates a specific offence of domestic abuse which covers psychological and emotional maltreatment and coercive and controlling behaviour as well as physical attacks.

Examples of coercive and controlling behaviour include isolating a partner from their friends and relatives or controlling their finances.

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson announced the Scottish Government funding as he visited the charity on Thursday and saw a demonstration of the type of training that will be provided.

He said: "Scottish Women's Aid have long campaigned for enhanced legislation to better reflect the experiences of women who suffer from domestic abuse and they have been instrumental in the development of this bill.

"Training is a crucial element to ensuring that the new legislation helps as many people as possible."

He said he hoped that parliament will support the bill, adding: "Today's opportunity to view an introductory session of training brings home the reality of what this new legislation will achieve - helping us on our way to eradicate this most insidious crime from our society."

Marsha Scott, Scottish Women's Aid chief executive officer, said: "If passed in Holyrood today, the Domestic Abuse Bill will change the landscape for victim-survivors of domestic abuse in Scotland, but no law alone can end domestic abuse.

"We are thrilled to have received funding to train trainers and deliver training on coercive control and the new Act in communities across Scotland.

"The impact of good training on improving responses cannot be underestimated.

"This project will help us to prepare for this new Act and make a real difference to the lives of women, children and young people experiencing domestic abuse."