£165,000 is heading its way to Scottish Women’s Aid from the Scottish Government to be used for training. The training will include ways to identify and support victims of coercive control.
On Thursday 1st February 2018 the Scottish Parliament passed the Domestic Abuse Scotland Bill. This now means that as well as physical abuse – psychological abuse and coercive control will become illegal.
“to create an offence with respect to the engaging by a person in a course of behaviour which is abusive of the person’s partner or ex-partner; and to make rules of criminal procedure for that offence and also for offences subject to the statutory aggravation involving abuse of partners or ex-partners.”
Additional training has also been made available to Police Scotland with extra funding.
Michael Matheson Justice Secretary in the Scottish Government said:
“Training is a crucial element to ensuring that the new legislation helps as many people as possible. It is often staff within invaluable organisations like Scottish Women’s Aid that are the first to engage with victims of domestic abuse. The bespoke training and accompanying web-based resources will enhance their preparation for the new offence coming into force.”
Coercive control was a term developed by leading academic Eva Stark.
“Coercive control is not primarily a crime of violence; it is first and foremost a liberty crime.”
” violence is used (or not) alongside a range of other tactics – isolation, degradation, mind-games, and the micro-regulation of everyday life (monitoring phone calls, dress, food consumption, social activity etc). The perpetrator creates a world in which the victim is constantly monitored and criticised; every move is checked against an unpredictable, ever-changing, unknowable ‘rule-book’.” Cedar Network
You can read more about coercive control and the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill at: Coercive Control and Psychological Abuse
The funding is in addition to core funding of £370,000 per year (2017-2020) to the Scottish Women’s Aid National Office.
Scottish Women’s Aid will also receive funding of £451,178 (2017-2019) for the National Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline.
Marsha Scott, CEO of Scottish Women’s Aid said:
“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.”
Michael Matheson said:
“I am very grateful to the domestic abuse survivors who presented their evidence to the Justice Committee. Their courage helped shaped the legislation I brought to Parliament, and their actions will help the justice system prosecute those who commit one of society’s most insidious crimes.”
Women’s Aid Orkney 01856 877900