Fife MSP welcomes introduction of more powers to protect domestic abuse victims

Published date : 19 Mar 2021

Scottish Parliament backs Domestic Abuse (Protection) (Scotland) Bill

Mid Fife and Glenrothes MSP, Jenny Gilruth, has welcomed legislation giving more powers to police and courts to protect people at risk of domestic abuse.

The Domestic Abuse (Protection) (Scotland) Bill  will enable police and courts to ban suspected abusers from re-entering the home and from approaching or contacting the person at risk for a period of time to enable them to consider their longer-term options around safety and housing. The Bill will also allow social landlords to end or transfer the tenancy of a perpetrator of domestic abuse to the victim.

Together, these measures should reduce the risk that victims of domestic abuse end up having to become homeless in order to escape their abuser.

Commenting after the Scottish Government Bill was passed with cross-party support, Jenny Gilruth MSP said: 

“This Bill is building on Scottish Government legislation which gave police and prosecutors greater powers to target those who engage in coercive or controlling behaviour.

“A person’s home should be a place of safety and we know that is not always the case. Women are disproportionately victims of domestic abuse with four in five victims being women. 

“This Bill represents a significant shift forward in ensuring protection can be put in place for women, in particular, from domestic abuse. 

“This is particularly important given the greater amount of time we are spending at home during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The protections in the Bill through the new scheme of domestic abuse protection notices and orders will make a real difference to the lives of many.”

Jan Swan, Centre Manager at Fife rape & Sexual Assault Centre (FRASAC) said:

“This is an important step in ensuring better protection for women and children at risk of abuse. 

“Many of our service users are faced with impossible choices, stay in an unsafe home where both they and their children may be facing daily emotional and physical abuse or leave often with the little they can pack and carry, into refuges or temporary accommodation or be dependant on the goodwill of family or friends to help keep them safe whilst perpetrators are free to stay in the home or keep returning to the home they have made an unsafe place. 

“This bill recognises that victims should be given appropriate protection, supported by the law and perpetrators should no longer be free to maintain control over them.”

 

Notes

  • The Bill and accompanying documents can be found on the Scottish Parliament website: https://beta.parliament.scot/bills-and-laws/bills/domestic-abuse-protection-scotland-bill
     
East Fife Mail, Glenrothes Gazette, JUSTICE
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