Executive considers special domestic abuse courts

Dedicated courts dealing with domestic abuse are to be
considered by the Scottish executive, Margaret Curran, minister for
social justice has announced.

Curran said: “The domestic abuse courts would possibly allow us
to make sure that individual cases are properly followed through,
and provide an opportunity for training for sheriffs and judges to
make sure that they properly understand the experience of women and

Curran made the decision to raise the debate on domestic abuse
courts following a Scottish executive working group report and

Campaign groups such as Women’s Aid have long campaigned
for such a move complaining that women’s issues take too long
to be processed, need sensitive treatment by a judiciary familiar
with the complex issues and the needs of women and children.

Domestic abuse courts are also strongly advocated by Strathclyde
Police, the country’s largest police force, which has
introduced training for all officers by Women’s Aid staff. In
Strathclyde last year there were 14,900 domestic abuse complaints
believed to be only a fraction of the real total of incidents.

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