The Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill aims to strengthen the law against people who psychologically abuse their partners using coercive and controlling behaviour.
For the first time, the Bill will create a statutory offence of domestic abuse by recognising the damage which non- physical abuse can cause. Such behaviour could include subordination, humiliation, isolating a partner from friends, relatives and sources of support and controlling or monitoring their day to day activity.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon met survivors of abuse at the Glasgow Young Women’s Movement (YWCA) as the Bill was introduced to Parliament.
Ms Sturgeon said: “ I am proud that as a society, we’ve come a long way from believing that domestic abuse is only a physical act. 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 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.”
Kara Brown, Director of YWCA Scotland added “The Young Women’s Movement is proud to be part of a country breaking ground through new progressive legislation.”
“We welcome this legislation as a critical tool to reduce stigma, raise understanding and encourage survivors of mental, financial and physical abuse to come forward.”