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  • Invitation to partners to inform new e-learning development in domestic abuse including coercive controlling behaviour

    Created: 17/10/2019

    Awareness of the cause, nature, prevalence and dynamics of gender based violence including but not limited to domestic abuse and CCB is relevant to colleagues working to deliver services across all aspects of public sector delivery - so that any development can be robustly informed please complete this survey. 

    What is the survey about?

    The Scottish Government is considering developing an accessible e-learning package for a wide range of service providers, through which their awareness and understanding of domestic abuse including coercive controlling behaviour (CCB) and the new ‘course of conduct’ offence under the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018, enacted in the 1st  April this year, could be broadly supported and developed across a wide range of public services.

    This e-learning package is not intended to provide specialist level learning. The intention would be to provide a more basic knowledge base to those delivering and managing a wide range of services in local areas.

    The aims of the Scottish Government’s proposed e-learning package are to:

    • Provide a baseline overview of domestic abuse, coercive control and the new offence
    • Raise understanding of the impact of domestic abuse on the whole family, and barriers to seeking support
    • Increase awareness and confidence with identifying and responding to domestic abuse
    • Provide practical considerations around organisational response
    • Signpost to local and national specialist organisations

    What is Coercive Controlling Behaviour?

    There is a common misconception that domestic abuse is just physical abuse and occurs as an incident or incidents. This is not the case. Domestic abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, financial and psychological abuse, and is likely to comprise a combined pattern of behaviours that are used by perpetrators over time to limit the freedoms of victims, compromising their safety, autonomy, health and wellbeing.  Children and young people living with the experience of domestic abuse and CCB in their homes are also affected and harmed in many ways even if they are not targeted as primary victims. The Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 now recognises CCB as criminal behaviour.

    Overall violence against women and girls and its serious, long term consequences costs the Scottish public purse £4 billion. In 2017 -18 there were 59, 541 domestic abuse incidents reported to Police Scotland. This figure represents only those reported incidents and does not reflect the patterns of abuse and coercive control that many victims live with daily over lengthy periods of time.

    Why is it important that a wide range of services complete this survey? Isn’t this a specialist issue?

    Domestic abuse including CCB is profoundly damaging and dangerous. It fundamentally undermines the wellbeing of our communities, and the human rights of victims. People who are living with or who are trying to recover from domestic abuse including CCB will be using, interacting with and may potentially seek support from a wide range of services. Perpetrators of domestic abuse including CCB will be using, interacting with and may also seek support from services. Therefore, a wide range of service providers require to better understand domestic abuse including the signs, impacts and dynamics of CCB so that they can recognise dangers and vulnerabilities, provide appropriate support where relevant, signpost or refer victims, others affected and perpetrators appropriately and ensure that their service responses are informed and safe.

    It is also important that a broad range of service providers are aware that systematic gender inequalities are both the cause and ongoing consequence of the ongoing prevalence of gender-based violence and that everyone has a role to play in its prevention and eradication from our society.

    Capability and Capacity at a local level 

    While welcoming the development and the enactment of the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018, and the investment in the professional development of Justice colleagues to date, COSLA has been concerned that local service providers who may well be connecting with victim-survivors of domestic abuse and coercive controlling behaviour (CCB) in the course of their work have not been considered in the training and professional development investment committed by the Scottish Government to date. 

    Scottish Government colleagues have now said that they are aware that there may be a gap in accessible training about domestic abuse and the new legislation for wider public sector organisations and partners, including across social work, housing, health and education sector.  They are therefore considering supporting the development of an e-learning package that can be utilised by a wide range of partners.

    They have developed this short survey to invite partners to tell them about the current training needs of their organisations in respect to domestic abuse including CCB and the new legislation.

    Closing date:25 October 2019

    If you have any questions about this survey please e-mail colleagues in the Scottish Government at [email protected]                                                                                                                                                      

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