Domestic Violence Scotland*


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Under new legislation in Scotland due to be finalised soon, the idea of Domestic Violence is changing. Actual harm and violence will never be condoned, but the new law is set to include far more situations which leave someone in harmful settings.


The new laws cover both current relationships and previous ones, between all forms of relationships. Please also bear in mind that this applies to both males and females. A common misconception is Domestic Violence affects only women negatively. But women are equally as capable of conducting harm as males. Domestic violence in any form is unacceptable, and under new legislation, illegal. 

Additions include: 

making a partner dependent or subordinate
Whether this is emotionally or financially. If your partner is happier feeling in control of your life and your actions, is the relationship equal? Relationships should be equal, where both people involved feel valued and appreciated. The expectations set on each other should be equal, if you are expecting complete honesty and commitment, the same must be given in return. If your partner is setting expectations on you but is failing to live up to them themselves, is it a form of dominance? They may not be setting the expectations in a firm way, but if they are impacting your emotions to ensure you obey by threatening or suggesting to leave you or never speak to you again, this is a form of emotional abuse, where one partner is more emotionally dominant over the other, ensuring a submissive or dependant victim.  

isolating a partner from friends, relatives or other sources of support
Does your partner control the friends you see and the people you confine in? They may not outright demand a lack of contact, but being unhappy with spending time with your other loved ones may be an indicator. This may mean asking you to consider your friendships, belittling the friends you do have, suggesting they have bad intentions, restricting contact, the type of meeting you have or limiting time contact eg. 2 hours per week is an "acceptable" timeframe, or potentially making you feel like you cannot share your concerns or feelings with others due to "privacy" If your partner is asking you to not discuss your relationship with anyone, maybe consider their behaviours as to why this is. If you told your loved ones the details of your relationship, would they be happy? Or would they be concerned? Quite often isolation is used to limit the outside impact on the victim. 

controlling, regulating or monitoring a partner's day-to-day activities
Does your partner just NEED to know where you are at all times? Do you feel like you need to ask permission to do something or go somewhere? Do you feel you change your behaviours to accommodate them to ensure they are not upset? Control and monitoring may come across as kindness in some cases, but if you are adapting your behaviours to avoid backlash or accusations by your partner this is not kindness. Your partner may use trust issues as a ground to monitor you, and you may condone this as a way to build a form of trust. But if you are unable to sleep longer, stay out later, not answer your phone straight away or respond to texts without being accused - this is a form of Domestic Violence now, trust does not grow from regulation and monitoring. 

depriving a partner of, or restricting, freedom of action
Does your partner control your decisions? When asked a question do you feel like you need to ask your partner first? Or do you feel you need to run things by them before deciding? This may be conceived as being out of respect, but if you are considering your partner's feelings before yours and allowing all decisions to be fundamentally made by them to avoid an argument or backlash - this is a form of control. Respect is built though knowing you can answer yourself without an argument, especially if the question or activity does not affect your partner. 

frightening, humiliating, degrading or punishing a partner
If you do upset your partner, how do they react? Are you scared of the outcome? Do they become emotionally aggressive and belittle you? Do they make you feel anxious about committing any wrongdoing in their eyes? Do they use their emotions as an excuse for their behaviours? If your partner is using their emotions, anxieties and insecurities as a way to belittle your own worries and condone their behaviours, consider the control over your emotions this is placing on you. Do you feel guilty for upsetting them?


If you feel the need to lie in a relationship about little details or big ones to avoid the emotional punishment or abuse you may receive from your partner this may be a sign of Domestic Violence. This then produces guilt which in turn absorbs all responsibility from the abuser and aids in their abuse by giving them reason/cause. This then becomes a vicious cycle, and one which we need to be aware of when talking to friends who are potentially within these situations.

A relationship should always remain as equal as possible if your partner is placing boundaries on you and expecting more from you than you would of them, it could now be a sign of Domestic Violence. The new Legislation in Scotland helps to protect individuals in controlling and emotionally abusive relationsips, so we can protect our most vulnerable. 

If this post has impacted you in any way please call 0808 2000 247 (24-hour National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline)


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