New powers could be given to the police and courts in Scotland to remove those suspected of domestic abuse from the homes of anyone at risk, the First Minister has announced.
It was among a series of policy announcements unveiled by Nicola Sturgeon yesterday laying the ground for the 2021 Holyrood election.
She also unveiled plans to push the extension of full-time free state childcare into the school holidays for the poorest families and fresh money for Green travel initiatives.
The Scottish Government will bring in legislation for new emergency protective orders to help those suffering from domestic abuse.
Such orders would not require the person at risk to make the application to the court themselves, while police would be able to impose a short-term order directly under the plans.
During her speech at the SNP conference in Aberdeen, Ms Sturgeon said: “We need to change the reality that for many women and their children the only way to escape an abuser is to flee their home. It should not be the victims of abuse who lose their homes, it should be the perpetrators.”
The legislation will be introduced in the current parliament session which ends in 2021 and has been welcomed by women’s groups.
About 130,000 youngsters will benefit when the extension of free state childcare is expanded into the holiday months. It is expected to cost about £70 million a year.
Ministers are consulting on the next phase of the expansion with further announcements expected in the coming months.
But Ms Sturgeon said yesterday: “If the SNP is returned to government after the next Holyrood election, we will expand childcare into the school holidays for primary pupils from the poorest backgrounds.”
Fresh funding of £27 million was also unveiled for walking and cycling charity, Sustrans, by Ms Sturgeon. Among the projects to benefit will be a new walking and cycling route in the north of Glasgow, the regeneration of Ayr town centre and green infrastructure travel links in Aberdeen.