New domestic abuse laws on the agenda for Lanarkshire organisations

Changes to Scotland's Domestic Abuse Act will make emotional abuse within a relationship illegal (Photo: Shutterstock)
Changes to Scotland's Domestic Abuse Act will make emotional abuse within a relationship illegal (Photo: Shutterstock)

Organisations involved in tackling domestic abuse in Lanarkshire met at Kirklands Hospital ahead of the implementation of the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act in 2019.

The new law criminalises controlling and coercive behaviours, which are a significant factor of domestic abuse.

National charity SafeLives has been appointed to train 14,000 Police Scotland officers in identifying such behaviours to support the introduction of act.

North Lanarkshire Council’s service coordinator (domestic abuse) Helen Sneddon said: “Most people associate domestic abuse with physical assaults, which are the most visible part, but it’s the cruel aspect of psychological abuse which people find the most difficult do deal with.

“This new act considers the complex way in which perpetrators seek to manipulate not only their victims, but also the police response.”

Social work staff, police, domestic abuse charities and members of the Judicial Institute, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal’s office met at Kirklands Hospital to agree how to work together to ensure the new laws are fully implemented.

The conference coincided with the international campaign “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence”.