Scottish Parliament Justice Committee backs domestic abuse bill

Written by Jenni Davidson on 22 September 2017 in News

The committee called the long-term effects of psychological abuse “sobering”

Scottish Parliament - Image credit: Holyrood

Holyrood’s Justice Committee has unanimously backed the general principles set out in the Scottish Government’s Domestic Abuse Bill, which redefines the terms of what is considered abuse.

The committee said it was “sobering” that serious and long-term psychological abuse within a relationship often cannot be prosecuted.

After taking evidence from those who had suffered abuse, committee members agreed that psychological abuse can cause immense trauma and harm.

The committee also recommended a Scottish Government publicity campaign to raise awareness if the bill becomes law.

Committee convener Margaret Mitchell MSP, said: “I know all committee members would want to pay tribute to the brave individuals who spoke to us about their experiences as the victims of psychological domestic abuse.

“Their traumatic experiences have reinforced the need to make sure the current gap in the law is closed.

“This is an important bill with the potential to make a huge difference to those victims of psychological abuse so it is crucial that its provisions are robustly scrutinised.”

The stage 1 debate in the chamber will take place in on 28 September 2017.

After that the bill will progress to stage 2, where amendments will be considered.

The committee intends to hear further evidence on emergency barring orders, which are short-term protection orders that are designed to give the victim some time to take further steps to protect their safety.

They usually do not require the consent of the victim and may remove the abuser from the home or ban the abuser from contacting the victim.




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