CLYDEBANK campaigners have welcomed new “groundbreaking” laws that came into force on Monday cracking down on abusive behaviour from relationships.

The new Domestic Abuse Act, passed last February, covers psychological and emotional treatment and coercive and controlling behaviour.

Clydebank Women’s Aid said they have known about the damage caused to women from abuse such as making a partner dependent or subordinate, isolating them from friends or family, controlling their daily lives, restricting their freedom, humiliating or degrading them and more.

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The charity, set up in 1981, told the Post: “For 30 years women have been telling us that coercive control may have life-long effects, and we are pleased that this change in the law reflects their experiences and that this damaging aspect of abuse is finally criminalized.

“Whilst physical abuse is often visible, the unseen nature and impact of coercive control means that it has been historically unrecognised and Clydebank Women’s Aid have striven to challenge this.

“This year we, and the women we support, launched a film highlighting the all-encompassing nature of coercive control within the context of domestic abuse and have provided training to various agencies and are happy to talk to any organization who would benefit from viewing it.”

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The legislation covers the full breadth of violent, threatening, intimidating and other controlling behaviour which can destroy a victim’s autonomy and further recognises the adverse impact domestic abuse can have on children.

It also requires courts to consider imposing a non-harassment order on an offender convicted of a domestic abuse offence to protect their victim from further abuse.

Women experiencing domestic abuse can get confidential support, not judgement, by contacting Clydebank Women’s Aid on 0141 952 8118.