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Barnardo’s Scotland welcomes amendments to the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill which recognise the impact of domestic abuse on children

Release Date: 21/11/2017

Following stage two of the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill, Barnardo’s Scotland has welcomed amendments to the Bill from the Scottish Government which extend the aggravator in relation to children.

Domestic Abuse (Scotland) BillThe charity also welcomes amendments from Mairi Gougeon MSP which make the protection of non-harassment orders available to children in cases of domestic abuse. These amendments are key to the Bill effectively protecting both women and children from the actions of perpetrators of domestic abuse.

Kirsten Hogg, Director of Policy at Barnardo's Scotland, said:  

We welcome the Scottish Government's strong commitment to ensuring that the harm done to children through domestic abuse is recognised within this Bill.

“Children are harmed by domestic abuse in a variety of ways. A perpetrator of domestic abuse may restrict their partner’s ability to leave their house or control their access to money, and in doing so also prevent a child from building a relationship with wider family members, playing with friends or taking part in school activities. A  perpetrator may control how their partner spends their time, preventing them from playing with a child, cuddling a child when the child is upset, or helping a child with homework. A perpetrator may ask a child to report back on what the non-abusing parent has been doing, undermining the relationship between that parent and the child.  All of these actions impact on a child’s development and wellbeing.

The amendments which widen the child aggravator and extend non-harassment orders to children take into consideration the variety of ways in which domestic abuse can impact on children, more accurately reflecting the lived experience of domestic abuse for the children and the non-abusing parent.  They also more effectively hold the perpetrators of domestic abuse to account for their behaviour.

We commend the Justice Committee for passing these important amendments at Stage 2 and look forward to continuing to work constructively with the Scottish Government and members of the Justice Committee on these issues as the Bill progresses

ENDS

Note to editors:

Barnardo’s Scotland oral evidence to the Justice Committee on the Domestic Abuse Bill

Barnardo’s Scotland has more than 100 shops in Scotland and works with more than 26,500 children and young people in over 122 specialised community-based services across Scotland.  Our work includes: fostering and adoption services and support; helping children break free from sexual exploitation; supporting young carers; helping young people in to employment and helping children living in poverty.   

Visit www.barnardos.org.uk/scotland to find out how you can get involved and show you believe in children.  Twitter: @BarnardosScot  Facebook: Barnardo’s Scotland

Media enquiries:

If you would like to attend please contact Katrina Slater media office – Barnardo’s Scotland; telephone 0131 446 7022 or 020 8 498 7555 (24 hours) email katrina.slater@barnardos.org.uk or the local shop direct.

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