Apr 4, 2019

Psychological domestic abuse becomes crime in Scotland under ‘groundbreaking’ new law

Maya Oppenheim
The Independent
April 1, 2019

‘He didn’t give me any money, so I always had to stay at home, I felt so isolated. He was always pushing me and abusing me in front of my family and friends,’ says domestic abuse survivor

A “groundbreaking” new law has come into effect in Scotland that makes psychological domestic abuseand controlling behaviour a crime.

The Scottish parliament passed the Domestic Abuse Act in February last year, creating a specific offence of domestic abuse.

A law is already in place which is aimed at those who psychologically and emotionally abuse partners in England and Wales. It came into effect in 2015, under the Serious Crime Bill.

The Scottish act covers not just physical abuse, but psychological and emotional treatment and coercive and controlling behaviour, where abusers isolate their victim from their friends and relatives or control their finances.

It covers the full breadth of violent, threatening, intimidating and other controlling behaviour which can destroy a victim’s autonomy and further recognises the adverse impact domestic abuse can have on children.


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