The Domestic Abuse Act comes in to force this week in Scotland. This new act criminalises psychological domestic abuse and ‘coercive and controlling behaviour.’ The act states what this sort of behaviour includes. The new act will require the court to consider a non-harassment order if an accused is found guilty under the act.
The act also introduces an aggravation, which is the first of its kind to consider the harm the offending will have on children being raised in an environment in which the offence is taking place. Over the next few months Police Scotland will be trained on the new act.
Police Scotland has stated: “This new offence is ground breaking. For the first time it will allow us to investigate and report the full circumstances of an abusive relationship. We will be able to include evidence of coercive and controlling behaviours where it forms a pattern of abuse, often carried out alongside other insidious behaviours, including physical and sexual abuse.”