Christina McKelvie, MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse Constituency, welcomed the new Domestic Abuse Act which entered law on 1st April. The new Act has been hailed by international expert Evan Stark as “the world’s new gold standard” for its recognition of coercive control as abuse alongside the potential for children to also be victims.

Christina said: “This change in the law by the Scottish Government will go a long way to help tackle all kinds of abusive behaviour, not just physical violence. While being less obvious to outsiders, coercive and controlling behaviour can lead to long-term, devastating impacts on those experiencing it, damaging the confidence and safety of survivors.

“The emotional impact of this coercive and controlling behaviour can often have the most traumatic impact, making it much harder for women and children to leave dangerous relationships. Children will also be better served by the legal recognition of the harm that is caused by growing up in an environment where domestic abuse takes place. The invaluable work of our police, prosecutors and third sector organisations will be bolstered by these changes, highlighting the Scottish Government’s commitment to ending domestic abuse.”

You can find out more information on the new legislation with this helpful primer from Scottish Women’s Rights Centre: