Frank’s Law and Changes to the Domestic Abuse Act Finally Come Into Force

The 1st of April  saw the start of two very important pieces of legislation in Scotland.

The long awaited extension of free personal care came into force – ‘Frank’s Law’.

People in Scotland can now receive free personal care regardless of age or income if assessed as eligible by their local authority.

This legislation came about due to the amazing campaigning of Amanda Kopel, wife of Frank Kopel, a former Dundee United footballer, who was diagnosed with early onset dementia at the age of 59. He faced bills of £1,200 a month for care until he died aged 65 in 2014, just weeks after he qualified for free personal care. Amanda Kopel had to campaign for years to get this change made.

Frank's Law

Shona Robison( the then Scottish Health Minister) and Amanda Kopel back in 2017

Here’s a reminder of how Amanda Kopel campaigned for so long on this issue  – this one is from 2015

An incredibly important change – this legislation will make a great deal of difference to many people and is only available in Scotland.

The Domestic Abuse Act also came into force. The Act recognises coercive control and psychological abuse and for months Police Scotland and other relevant organisations in Scotland have been training so that they can recognise the effects and respond appropriately.

domestic abuse poster

The legislation also recognises the harm that can be done to children growing up in a household where domestic abuse takes place.

Joanna Barrett, policy and public affairs manager for NSPCC Scotland, said:

  “Growing up in an abusive household can have a hugely damaging effect on children. As well as the day-to-day distress that living with domestic abuse creates, the emotional impact can last well into adulthood.

“This change in the law represents another step in Scotland’s journey towards recognising children as direct victims of domestic abuse, alongside adult victims.” Third Force News

Reporter: Fiona Grahame

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