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POLICE officers will be able to remove suspected abusers from the homes of victims under new laws being tabled by the Scottish Government.
The courts and police are set to be handed the new powers, including banning suspected abusers from re-entering victims’ homes and allow social landlords to end or transfer a tenancy of a perpetrator of domestic abuse to prevent a victim becoming homeless and enabling them to remain in the family home.
The Scottish Government has brought forward the new proposed legislation, the Domestic Abuse (Protection) (Scotland) Bill to further support victims.
A charity has labelled the proposals a “milestone moment” for victims of domestic abuse.
Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of protecting women and girls who find themselves isolated and vulnerable due to the actions of an abusive partner.
“This new Bill will apply to all those at risk of domestic abuse, but we know women are disproportionally affected, representing 80 per cent of victims. A person’s home should be a place of safety and the new orders being introduced will give victims of domestic abuse space and time to address their longer-term safety and housing situation.”
He added: “The Bill builds on our legislation that came into force last year giving police and prosecutors greater powers to target those who engage in coercive or controlling behaviour.
“The Scottish Government is determined to protect everyone from domestic abuse and, at the same time, we will continue to implement our Equally Safe strategy with a focus on supporting women and children at risk of abuse.”
Earlier this year, council bosses in Edinburgh wrote to the Scottish Government, appealing for laws to be updated after an average of 300 people for year in the capital have presented as homeless, stating they were fleeing violence from a partner.
Dr Marsha Scott, chief executive of Scottish Women’s Aid, said: “The publication of this Bill is a milestone moment for women, children and young people experiencing domestic abuse who for years have asked us why it should be them, rather than their abusers, who have to leave their homes, pets and belongings to seek safety.
« Domestic abuse is the leading cause of women’s homelessness in Scotland, with women often facing the impossible choice between living with an abuser and making themselves and their children homeless.”
She added: “We have long said that emergency protective orders will make an immediate and significant difference for those women and children, offering them respite and breathing space as they seek support and safety. The role of social landlords is also key in this, and so new powers to allow them to help survivors of domestic abuse to remain in the family home are welcome news.
“We look forward to continued engagement with colleagues from all parties to strengthen the legislation even further as it makes its way through Parliament. »
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Domestic violence, Abuse, Scotland, Law
Actu monde – GB – Suspected violent partners to be removed from victims’ homes under new laws