More than 200 people will convene in Aberdeen today to discuss the best local approach to tackling domestic abuse.
Representatives from Police Scotland, NHS Grampian, Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen councils and various third sector organisations will meet to address Scotland’s new domestic abuse law and how this will impact on local responses to women, children and young people who are affected by domestic abuse.
The new law came into effect on April 1 and Grampian Women’s Aid has supported 175 women and 73 children and young people who are facing problems with the issue.
Today’s conference aims to further integrate local services in implementing Scotland’s new domestic abuse laws, helping those who are living with the terror of coercive control to get the support they so vitally need.
Aileen Forbes, manager of Grampian Women’s Aid said: “We are delighted to be hosting this conference on coercive control which will raise awareness and discuss in further detail how we can respond to the new domestic abuse legislation.
“For too long, coercive control has fallen below the radar and now, with the new law, women will feel they have been listened to about their experience.
“We hope the conference will begin a dialogue on how, collaboratively, we can work together to support and protect women, children and young people in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.
“Grampian Women’s Aid recently received Lottery funding to continue its outreach support for women, children and young people and we continue to deliver training and raise awareness to communities on understanding and responses to domestic abuse.”
Marsha Scott, chief executive of Scottish Women’s Aid, will speak about the new legislation and Luke Hart of CoCo Awareness will talk about his own experiences of domestic abuse.
In 2016, Mr Hart’s father, Lance, shot and killed his estranged wife, Claire, and 19-year-old daughter, Charlotte, in a car park in Lincolnshire. He then committed suicide.
The new Domestic Abuse Act criminalises psychological domestic abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour.
The act is the only piece of UK legislation with a specific statutory sentencing aggravation to reflect the harm that can be caused to children who are growing up in an environment where domestic abuse takes place.
For support, contact Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline, available 24/7 on 0800 027 1234. Locally.
Grampian Women’s Aid is available on 01224 593381.