“We must tackle the justice system”: SNP endorses domestic violence bill

Nathanael Williams

SNP confirms its support for government’s new domestic abuse bill

DELEGATES at the SNP conference today (Thursday 13 October) voted "by acclaim" to recognise the diverse nature of domestic abuse and to agree that party policy should mirror First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s programme for government plans, to recognise and make patterns of abusive behaviour punishable by law.

The motion was supported by MPs Angela Crawley and Christina McKelvie who also stated it was important for all decision makers in Scotland and the conference to realise how let down survivors of domestic abuse have been. 

The conference motion follows questions from legal groups and those within the domestic abuse debate who have questioned how the part of the bill dealing with coercion would be proven or implemented.

"We must tackle the justice system, tackle a system which sometimes fails to secure the conviction even with the worst instances of violence." Angela Crawley

Angela Crawley MP, the party’s Westminster spokesperson for women, equalities and children said: "As a law student in Glasgow I witnessed first hand the devasting impact that violence can have and the individuals’ lives.

"The programme for government will look to tackle this devastation, not just physical but the coercive as well, recognising the negative and controlling aspects that abuse can entail.

"We are working with Scottish Women’s Aid, Police Scotland and other key stakeholders who deliver life-saving services everyday. We must tackle the justice system, tackle a system which sometimes fails to secure convictions even with the worst instances of violence."

79 per cent of all victims of domestic abuse in 2014-15 were women.

According to Scottish government figures there were 58,439 reports of domestic abuse recorded by the police from 2013 to 2015 and 59,882 reports of domestic abuse from 2014 to 2015, a 2.5 per cent increase.

Incidents where a woman was the victim and a man the perpetrator of domestic violence represented 79 per cent of all victims of domestic abuse in 2014-15.

Christina McKelvie MP for Hamilton and Larkhall said: "More than this conference. It is not only about showing our support for a new way of tackling domestic violence but it is about thinking about the rights of all victims and survivors. The tens of thousands of children who suffer and witness the abuse up close."

Picture from CommonSpace

Check out what people are saying about how important CommonSpace is. Pledge your support today.