How the law has changed
On 1st April a new domestic abuse law came into force in Scotland
The law now recognises psychological harm, as well as physical harm, as an offence.
This means that abusers engaging in patterns of coercive and controlling behaviour (behaviour that has taken place on two or more occasions) can now be punished by law.
Change In Law Explainer Video
Examples of controlling and coercive behaviour
The examples below are not an exhaustive list, but give some idea of what form controlling and coercive behaviour could take:
- Making someone dependent on or subordinate to the abuser
- Isolating someone from their friends, relatives or other sources of support
- Controlling, regulating or monitoring someone’s day to day activities
- Depriving someone of, or restricting their freedom of action e.g. controlling their phone/communication access or access to money
- Frightening, humiliating, degrading or punishing someone e.g. abusive name calling, playing mind games that causes someone to doubt their sanity
The new legal measures will strengthen the powers of police and prosecutors to tackle all forms of domestic abuse.