Your right to be protected by
- Any woman is entitled to police assistance if she is being
- Assaults which occur between partners in the home are not in
any way less serious than those which occur between strangers.
- Assault within the context of domestic abuse is a crime; it
should be dealt with in the same way as any other crime
- There are guidelines laid down for the police on how they
should respond to being called to an assault on a woman by the
person she is living with.
- It is misleading for the police to ask you if you want to have
your partner charged - it is for the police to decide whether to
charge him or not, it is however your decision as to whether or not
you make a statement as a witness
Your right to Protection from Continuing
- Any women who is being assaulted, threatened or harassed by an
abuser can apply through a lawyer for a court order telling them to
stop their behaviour. This is called an interdict. If an interdict
may have powers of arrest attached
- An order can be granted if you want an abuser to be told to
stop assaulting you but do not wish to have them put out of the
home. It can also be granted if you are living apart from the
abuser and you still need protection from them. For example, the
abuser may be prohibited from assaulting and threatening you in
your home or anywhere else, or from coming within fifty yards of
the family home.
- If the abuser breaks an interdict, the response of the police
will depend on whether or not a power of arrest is attached to the
- If there is a power of arrest then the police can arrest the
abuser if they have reasonable suspicion that the interdict has
- If there is not a power of arrest then the police have no
special powers unless the abuser has committed a separate criminal
offence at the time. If no criminal offence has been committed, you
must go to your lawyer about taking your abuser through the civil
courts for 'breach of interdict'.
- Under the Matrimonial Homes (Family Protection) (Scotland) Act
1981, and the Protection from Abuse (Scotland) Act 2001, you can
apply to the court for a power of arrest to be attached. It is
important that you talk to a lawyer about applying for this
protection, your local women's aid group can provide you with a
list of sympathetic lawyers.
For further information and support call 0141