What is the Domestic Abuse (Protection) (Scotland) Bill?15 Oct 2020
The Scottish Government have published the Domestic Abuse (Protection) (Scotland) Bill which, when enacted, will put into law recommendations made by the “Change, Justice, Fairness” research report to remove suspected perpetrators of domestic abuse from the home and ban them from returning for a period of time.
At Grampian Women’s Aid we know that housing is one of the main challenges which women face when ending a relationship with an abusive partner. Ending the relationship often results in their homelessness and the additional emotional and financial impact of this. Becoming homeless as a result of domestic abuse comes at an enormous cost to women and their children and does not result in women feeling safer or free from further abuse and harassment.
Many perpetrators of domestic abuse remain in the family home while survivors and their children are forced to move frequently between temporary and often unsuitable housing resulting in increased financial cost and poor recovery from the original trauma which women and children experienced in the family home. The impact of such numerous moves can be far-reaching: children moving school many times; women unable to establish new friendships and networks; unable to find work or continue with training and education; financial instability and forced reliance on welfare
This new law will give women and children breathing space to access support and consider their options, which will include remaining in their home. The bill will also create a new ground on which a social landlord can apply to the court to end a perpetrator’s interest in a tenancy or joint tenancy transferring it to the survivor of domestic abuse.
The Bill will now go through the parliamentary process over the next few months and the Women’s Aid movement will be responding to the Justice Committee’s call for evidence when it is announced. To ensure that women’s experiences continue to inform this process, Grampian Women’s Aid will be gathering case study examples to include in the submission and will explore with any interested women whether they would like the opportunity to meet with the relevant MSPs (online and in confidence) when they are discussing the bill.
At last, in Scotland, we will be addressing that question that women very often ask, “Why should we have to move everywhere and everything because of him" " (Change, Justice, Fairness Report. https://womensaid.scot/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Change-Justice-Fairness.pdf )
If you are experiencing abuse, you can contact Grampian Women’s Aid by calling 01224 593381 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting http://grampian-womens-aid.com/contact-us/