Judges and sheriffs in Scotland are to receive special training ahead of a new bill to criminalise psychological domestic abuse.

The online training will focus on knowledge and understanding of the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018, which comes into force on 1 April.

Participants will also complete a face-to-face domestic abuse course.

The interactive learning package was commissioned by the Judicial Institute for Scotland.

The face-to-face courses will be held in the Institute’s purpose-built judicial learning suite in Edinburgh.

Coercive control

Sheriff Alistair Duff, director of the Judicial Institute, said: “This approach allows us to provide all judicial office holders in Scotland with an early opportunity to engage with learning about the new offence.

“This is important given the complexities of the new concepts of coercive control and psychological abuse where there may be no physical violence.

“The resource will live on our award-winning virtual learning environment, the Judicial Hub, and will support judges before and during their first cases.”

The Domestic Abuse bill, which has wide backing, creates a specific offence of “abusive behaviour in relation to a partner or ex-partner”.

This includes psychological abuse such as coercive and controlling behaviour as well as violence.

Critics claimed it could be difficult to gather sufficient evidence.

The BBC has more….

 

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