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New online resource launched in Scotland to raise awareness of domestic abuse

A new online resource is being made available in Scotland to help support people experiencing, or at risk of, domestic abuse.

For professionals in the housing, social work, health, education and other sectors with an interest in the new domestic abuse legislation, the resource aims to improve understanding of coercive controlling behaviours, and where to direct people for further assistance.

The Domestic Abuse Awareness Raising Tool has been developed in partnership with stakeholders by the domestic abuse charity SafeLives, backed by £10,000 Scottish Government investment.

It forms part of a wider programme of accessible resources to improve the capacity of public service staff in Scotland to recognise and safely respond to survivors of domestic abuse.

Equalities Minister Christina McKelvie said:

"Frontline organisations provide an invaluable service for victims and are a great source of help.  But we know that there are numerous staff in health, social care and education who regularly come into contact with people who may be experiencing, or at risk of, domestic abuse.

"This new tool will be an important resource for those professionals to help them to look out for signs of abuse, including coercive controlling behaviours, and be able to provide an effective, early intervention or signpost to support which could be lifesaving.

"The ground-breaking legislation which came into force last year [the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018] created a specific new offence that includes physical abuse and forms of psychological abuse. And whilst we need this legislation, we also need to support Scotland's workforce to develop a common understanding of domestic abuse that delivers a consistent and effective message for victims."

The Domestic Abuse Awareness Raising Tool (DAART) builds on the DA Matters Scotland programme developed for Police Scotland in collaboration with partners ASSIST, the Caledonian System, Sacro, and Scottish Borders Safer Communities team as part of the implementation of the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act. It will explore:

The resource reflects real experiences of women, children, men, LGBT people and the BME community. It also includes case studies that show tactics perpetrators use to manipulate victims and responders, as well as the impact of domestic abuse and coercive control on the whole family. It is intended that the resource will provide a basic introduction and can be supplemented by further specialist training.

To review DAART, click here.