LOCKDOWN 3: JANUARY 2021
WillisPalmer is continuing to provide our expert social work and psychological services during lockdown. We are utilising technology alongside safe working practices in line with government guidance to enable us to continue supporting vulnerable children and families.

Call 01206 878178 to discuss your requirements.
Make an Enquiry
Contact Us

Scottish government publishes Domestic Abuse Bill

Victims and survivors of domestic abuse in Scotland will have greater protection following the publication of The Domestic Abuse (Protection) (Scotland) Bill.

If approved by Parliament, the Bill will provide police and courts with powers to remove suspected abusers from victims’ homes and ban them from re‑entering. The new legislation will also 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.

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% 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.

“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.”

The legislation states that it aims to make provision for domestic abuse protection notices and orders for the purpose of protecting a person from abusive behaviour by the person's partner or ex-partner. It also makes provision for the termination of Scottish secure tenancies in cases involving behaviour by a tenant which is abusive of the tenant's partner or ex-partner.

Last month, Scottish Women’s Aid (SWA) revealed the devastating effects that COVID-19 - and measures to address the pandemic - have had on those experiencing domestic abuse and on the specialist services working to support survivors.

Safety measures introduced to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to prevent pressure on the NHS resulted in decreased emergency refuge spaces, with the need for refuge far outstripping capacity. Compounding this problem, many local authorities and housing associations stopped allocating new homes during lockdown, often meaning that children and women in refuge had no place to move on to, which limited refuge spaces for new women and children.

Abuses of child visitation and contact arrangements were seen across multiple regions, and local systems did not effectively respond to abusers using the pandemic as an excuse not to return children to their mothers. Handovers for child visits have also become increasingly dangerous for women and children experiencing domestic abuse.

Responding to the publication of the Bill, 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. 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."

The Domestic Abuse (Scotland) (Protection) Bill.

Make an enquiry

A multi-disciplinary organisation providing independent, high quality social work and psychological services. Contact us with your requirements and speak to a member of our team who will help you today.
Make an Enquiry

Knowledge & Resources

Keep abreast of the latest news in the children's services sector.

Children’s social care review officially launches

01/03/2021

The independent review of children’s social care has officially launched after the government announced it would be set up back in January.

The anticipated independent review of children’s social care designed to improve the lives of the most vulnerable children in England was launched by education secretary Gavin Williamson in January. Mr Williamson also announced [...]

Read Full Story

Campaign launched to reduce criminalisation of care experienced children

01/03/2021

A new campaign to reduce the criminalisation of children in care and care leavers across England and Wales has been launched by NYAS.

Care-experienced children currently make up half of those placed in youth custody while children in care in England are six times more likely than other young people to be cautioned or convicted of [...]

Read Full Story

Mental health to be greatest challenge in children’s health in 2040

01/03/2021

The greatest challenge facing children in 20 years’ time will be mental health problems, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has warned.

The College asked almost 300 members what they envisage will be the biggest health issue affecting children and young people in 2040. The top three responses were mental health (43.71%), obesity (31.14%) [...]

Read Full Story
Children First is an online resource for professionals working with children presented by WillisPalmer, providing you with the latest news, features and interviews.
Subscribe Today
Delivering a diverse, reliable range of services to children and their families across the UK
D1, Parkside, Knowledge Gateway, Nesfield Road, Colchester, Essex CO4 3ZL
Contact Us

A Mackman Group collaboration - market research by Mackman Research | website design by Mackman

closechevron-downbars linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram