Scottish government consults on domestic abuse reform

Michael Matheson

Psychological and emotional abuse could be made a crime in Scotland in a major reform of domestic abuse law.

The Scottish government has begun a consultation on how to advance plans for a specific offence of domestic abuse.

The ambit of domestic abuse could be extended to cover situations such as depriving a person of their liberty, controlling their access to money or isolating them from family.

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson (pictured) said the move was a “significant leap forward in tackling the scourge of domestic abuse”.

He added: “It will expand criminal law and make us world-leading in our response to this heinous crimes.”

The consultation will ask whether a specific offence should extend to psychological manipulation and control.

Mr Matheson said: “It is crucial we strengthen our legislation to take into account more subtle forms of abuse that are difficult to prosecute within the existing legal framework.”

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