Equally Safe - addressing domestic abuse & sexual offences

Date: 19th June 2015
Category: Children in situations of exploitation, Right to life, survival and development, Protection from abuse or neglect, Domestic abuse

A consultation on proposals including to create specific offences concerning domestic abuse & introduce statutory jury directions in sexual offence cases.

The Scottish Government is seeking views on the following five specific issues:

1) The question of whether the current criminal law reflects the true experience of victims of long-term domestic abuse, including coercive control, and whether a specific domestic abuse offence would improve the ability of people to access justice through effective prosecution of domestic abuse;

2) The need for a specific new criminal offence to address the sharing of private intimate images without permission from the subject of the images (often referred to as 'revenge porn');

3) The need for jury directions in sexual offence cases to provide guidance on how juries should consider:

- The fact that a significant period of time elapsed between the time the offence occurred and the reporting of the offence to the police;
- The absence of the use of physical force by the alleged attacker or the absence of use of physical resistance on the part of the alleged victim;

4) Changes to the disposals available to a court where a person is found unfit to stand trial due to a mental or physical condition but an examination of facts finds that they did commit acts constituting an offence; and

5) Extension to the extra-territorial effect of the law concerning sexual offences against children to include offences committed elsewhere in the United Kingdom.

The deadline for responses is 19th June 2015.