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Police training continues on new domestic abuse law

Local Women’s Aid to host domestic abuse conference next week

Photo by Laura Dodsworth as part of the 'one thousand words' project by Zero Tolerance and Scottish Women's Aid.

AROUND half of Shetland’s police officers have so far received training on Scotland’s new domestic abuse legislation which came into force last month.

It comes as Shetland Women’s Aid is set to host a conference on domestic abuse next week.

Police chief inspector Lindsay Tulloch told last week’s meeting of Shetland’s community safety and resilience board that training sessions were undertaken with officers earlier this month.

They were delivered by someone travelling up from the mainland, and the rest of the officers will receive training in the coming weeks.

Tulloch added that the law had already been used in Shetland a few times since its introduction.

The new Domestic Abuse Act criminalises psychological domestic abuse and controlling behaviour and it includes a sentencing aggravation to reflect the harm that can be caused to children growing up in an environment where domestic abuse takes place.

In-demand Shetland Women’s Aid previously called the act a “landmark piece of legislation”.

The chief executive of Scottish Women’s Aid, meanwhile, is due to return to the isles next week to take part in Shetland Women’s Aid Domestic Abuse Conference.

Dr Marsha Scott will be on hand to speak about coercive control, the new legislation and how it will impact on local responses.

The conference, which will be held in Lerwick on 3 and 4 June, will also see the launch of the new three stage trauma recovery programme which will support women, young people and children who have experienced domestic abuse and gender-based violence.

The programme is funded by the local integration joint board, the Scottish Government and the National Lottery Community Fund.

A new post has been created to deliver the programme and National Lottery Community Fund’s Helen Curry will attend the conference to mark the beginning of the new role.

Dr Scott and conference attendees will also discuss the Safe and Together Framework – an internationally recognised set of tools to help child welfare professionals become domestic violence informed.

The seminar with Dr Scott will take place at the Shetland Museum and Archives in Lerwick on 4 June from 10am to 2.30pm and places can be booked online.

The event is said to be of interest to those within education/children’s services, social work, health, the third sector, community justice and community safety.

Shetland Women’s Aid manager Laura Stronach said: “Although we are celebrating this week as we reflect on our restructure, the new law and our secured funding, much more is required to tackle the issue in Shetland.

“We are delighted to have Dr Marsha Scott visit to be able to share her wealth of knowledge and understanding ahead of the first ever Scottish Safe and Together Conference.

“Helen Curry from the National Lottery Community Fund has been a great source of help and encouragement throughout our previous fund and we are delighted to be working together on this new project.”

For advice or help on domestic abuse, contact Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline on 0800 027 1234 or Shetland Women’s Aid on 01595 692070.