Banning orders for domestic abusers

Anne Swinburne
Anne Swinburne

A new crackdown on domestic abuse will force sheriffs to consider giving banning orders to everyone convicted of the crime.

MSPs are this week expected to pass the Domestic Abuse Bill which will create an offence of “abusive behaviour in relation to a partner or ex-partner”.

An amendment to the Bill, accepted by the SNP, will force the courts to consider an order to keep those convicted away from their victims – known as non-harassment orders (NHO) – in every domestic abuse case.

Courts will also have to explain why they have not issued an NHO, which will be extended to any children affected.

Anne Swinburne, whose estranged husband – an ex-police officer – was convicted of assaulting her, said: “I am glad they will at least have to explain why they are not granting an order.”

MSP Linda Fabiani said the amendment should give “a bit more comfort to those who have been abused”.

A Scottish Government spokesman said the amendment will “further improve the legislation” to protect victims.