Ayrshire to pilot new domestic abuse law

Local SNP MSP Adam Ingram has welcomed an announcement by Police Scotland that a new Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse, also known as Clare’s Law, will be piloted in Ayrshire.

It was confirmed at the latest meeting of a specially convened multi-agency project board looking at domestic abuse that Ayrshire will participate in the six-month trial. The Scottish Government, Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), ASSIST advocacy services and Scottish Women’s Aid all sit on the Police Scotland-chaired board.

The Caledonian System currently running in Aberdeen works with perpetrators of domestic abuse to challenge their thinking, consider the impact of their previous actions and change their behaviour. Alongside this, it also provides vital support and guidance to victims of domestic abuse.

The pilots will be starting in late November and running for six months before a thorough evaluation takes place.

Commenting Mr Ingram said:

“Today’s Police Scotland announcement on the progress of the Domestic Abuse Disclosure Scheme is another very positive step forward in protecting the victims of domestic abuse.

“It is right that people in relationships should have the opportunity to seek the facts about their partner’s background if, for example, they have concerns that their partner has a history of violence and I am particularly interested in the results of the pilot to assess how effective it can be.

“Clearly, combatting domestic abuse requires a range of actions and activity and today’s announcement is another tool justice agencies can use in their work to tackle this unacceptable behaviour. The Scottish Government is investing £34.5m in funding between 2012 – 15 to be targeted at a range of initiatives working to tackle violence against women, including domestic abuse in Scotland.

“Initiatives like the Caledonian System are providing vital support to allow those whose lives have been blighted by the harm of domestic abuse to move on in a positive way, and that can often include working with perpetrators as well as victims.”