‘Pioneering’ domestic abuse programme extended

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said the �2.8 million injection will double the "pioneering" programme's potential capacity to reach offenders.
Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said the �2.8 million injection will double the "pioneering" programme's potential capacity to reach offenders.
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A programme combating domestic abuse in Scotland is to be extended to six further local authorities.

Glasgow, South Lanarkshire, Highland, Fife, and Dundee City, in partnership with Perth and Kinross, have been awarded funding to roll out the Caledonian System, which works to rehabilitate male offenders while supporting and improving the safety of women and children affected.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said the £2.8 million injection will double the “pioneering” programme’s potential capacity to reach offenders.

The scheme sees men convicted of domestic abuse offences participate in sessions lasting at least two years.

Mr Yousaf said: “Evidence shows men who have completed this programme posed a lower risk to their families while women felt safer, so I am pleased this innovative approach will be more widely available for courts to consider.”

Local authorities already running the programme include Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Stirling and Dumfries and Galloway.

Read more: Leader comment: Scotland gets world-leading law on domestic abuse

Mhairi McGowan, head of domestic abuse support service Assist, said: “I am delighted that sheriffs in Glasgow’s domestic abuse court will have Caledonian as a sentencing option.

“Victims of domestic abuse whose partners or ex-partners are prosecuted just want the violence and abuse to stop. They don’t want anyone else to go through what they have suffered.

“The ethos at the heart of Assist is about working in partnership and we are very pleased to be able to play our part in the extension of Caledonian to Glasgow.”

Councillor Jen Layden, Glasgow City Council’s convener for equalities and human rights, added: “This new funding will enable us to significantly develop our existing services and commitment to tackling domestic abuse.

“Focusing on breaking the pattern of domestic abuse is the best way of protecting women and children in very dangerous and damaging situations.”

Read more: Training for police to spot domestic abuse