Charity to provide domestic abuse training for police

Domestic abuse revised web

SafeLives will help Police Scotland prepare for the new domestic abuse bill, which will tackle controlling behaviour

15th May 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Police officers are set to receive specialist training to identify controlling behaviour.

Scotland’s new Domestic Abuse Act, which will be introduced next year, will make controlling and coercive behaviours a crime.

And in anticipation of the new legislation being brought in, charity SafeLives will begin training police staff this summer.

The charity has highlighted that more than 130,000 people in Scotland live with domestic abuse every year, with 68% of victims who access specialist support disclosing controlling behaviour, and 56% physical abuse.

SafeLives chief executive Suzanne Jacob said: “We now have the chance to change culture in relation to domestic abuse across the whole of Police Scotland. That’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to make life better for victims, survivors and their children all across the country.

“The police play a vital role in the response to domestic abuse – protecting victims and children and holding perpetrators to account.

“This training will allow us to work with partners Assist, the Caledonian System, Sacro and Scottish Borders Safer Communities team to develop common understanding and awareness across Police Scotland around the dynamics of abuse, coercive control and the tactics used by perpetrators.”

Assistant chief constable Gillian MacDonald, of the crime and protection department at Police Scotland, said: "This new act recognises, for the first time, the harm psychological abuse causes to victims and their children and the complex way in which perpetrators seek to manipulate not only their victims but also the police response.

"Ensuring our officers and staff are equipped with a good understanding of controlling behaviours is key to delivering this ground-breaking legislation.”

The training will be funding by the Scottish Government, which has provided a grant of £825,000 to support the initiative.

"We're doing everything we can to tackle the scourge that is domestic abuse at every opportunity and this new funding will greatly assist in tackling it,” said justice secretary Michael Matheson.