Why is positive news almost no news In Scotland? No. 2

– passage of the Domestic Abuse (Protection) (Scotland) Bill

By stewartb

Is there a recurring pattern here? It has been disappointing to find so little attention given in the news media in Scotland to an important event which occurred in the Holyrood Parliament on 18 March 2021. It was the passage of the Domestic Abuse (Protection) (Scotland) Bill.  This Government Bill was approved by 114 MSPs, with no dissenting votes and no abstentions.

The Law Society of Scotland reported:

‘MSPs unanimously supported the Domestic Abuse (Protection) (Scotland) Bill, which introduces two new forms of order, the domestic abuse protection notice, imposed by the police, to be followed by the domestic abuse protection order from the courts, which would ban suspected abusers from re-entering the home and from approaching or contacting the person at risk for a period of time to enable them to consider their longer-term options around safety and housing. 

‘The bill will also allow social landlords to end or transfer the tenancy of a perpetrator of domestic abuse to the victim. Its measures aim to reduce the risk that victims of domestic abuse end up having to become homeless in order to escape their abuser.’

The chief executive of Scottish Women’s Aid commented on the Bill’s passage: “Domestic abuse is the leading cause of women’s homelessness in Scotland and this bill will make an immediate and significant difference for those women and their children – granting them some safety and breathing space to seek support, to explore their housing options, and to consider life without an abuser in the next room controlling every move they even think about making.

“This legislation fills a giant gap in Scottish law by upholding the rights of women and children living with domestic abuse to stay safely in their own homes if they choose, and we look forward to working with the Government, and other partners, on implementation and evaluation.”

Source:

https://www.lawscot.org.uk/news-and-events/legal-news/further-domestic-abuse-control-powers-passed-by-msps/

The national director of the Chartered Institute for Housing (CIH) Scotland is quoted in Scottish Housing News saying: 

“We very much welcome the passing of the Bill which will improve the housing rights of victim-survivors.

“We know domestic abuse is the principle cause of homelessness for women but the law did not previously give enough protection to victim-survivors to safeguard their housing rights. This legislation will now give victims of domestic abuse housing rights and options that were previously unavailable – including the option of staying in their home. A key ask from our domestic abuse campaign, Make a Stand.”

8 thoughts on “Why is positive news almost no news In Scotland? No. 2

  1. Again fantastic, though the Scottish government will need to re-draft the proposed amendments to the GRA, IMHO. As trans-women are undeniably biologically male, so the law should not suggest otherwise. That’s if Scots law wants to remain rational and coherent, which I hope it does.

    Violence and voice: using a feminist constructivist grounded theory to explore women’s resistance to abuse
    https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1468794110384452

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    1. Why do they need to redraft the proposed draft Bill? The proposed reform is solely concerned with the process by which a legally acquired gender is obtained. No other provisions in the GRA 2004 are affected and nor a women’s rights under the Equalities Act 2010 affected. (NOTE: both the UK Gov and Scottish Gov have shelved the reform process for the time being)

      This from the Scot Gov web site:
      “”A draft Bill reforming the current process for obtaining legal gender recognition has been published for consultation.

      The reforms, which follow international best practice adopted in other countries such as the Republic of Ireland, Denmark and Norway, do not alter the long standing rights of trans men and women to change gender nor do the reforms change the rights of women and single sex exceptions in the Equality Act.

      The Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill’s proposals include:

      removing the current requirement for people to apply to the UK Gender Recognition Panel. Instead, people seeking legal gender recognition would apply to the Registrar General for Scotlandremoving the current requirement for applicants to provide medical evidence of their diagnosis of gender dysphoriaretaining the requirement that applicants must make a solemn statutory declaration they have been living in their acquired gender for three months and intend to do so permanentlyintroducing a minimum three month period of reflection between applying for a Gender Recognition Certificate and confirming the application. This means that the applicant must have lived in their acquired gender for a minimum of six months before a certificate is grantedretaining the position that a false statutory declaration is a criminal offence and introducing a new offence of false application – each with a potential punishment of up to two years’ imprisonmentreducing the minimum age of application from 18 to 16

      Equalities Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

      “We are proposing these reforms because the current system is viewed by many wishing to apply as traumatic and demeaning.

      “A previous consultation on reform showed a majority in support for our proposals but also some concerns.

      “Consulting on the detail of a draft Bill and associated impact assessments will, I hope, clearly explain the need for reform and address those concerns.

      “There have always been trans people in society and for the past fifteen years they have been able to legally change their gender through obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate.

      “We are proposing to make the current process less stressful whilst continuing to recognise the seriousness of the decision to live your life in a different gender.

      “Women’s rights and protections will be as strong under this Bill as they are today, as we remain committed to protect, respect, and advance the rights of women and girls.

      “We are not proposing to change the Equality Act or the exceptions within it that protect single sex spaces and services.

      “Our proposals are in line with the approach taken in a number of other countries, including the Republic of Ireland which has had a similar system since 2015.

      “We will carefully consider all responses to the consultation and I urge everyone contributing to do so in a considered and respectful way.”

      Lynn Welsh, Head of Legal at the Equality and Human Rights Commission Scotland, said:

      “This Bill offers a welcome opportunity to remove unnecessary practical barriers trans people face in securing legal recognition of their gender identity.

      “Nothing in the Bill will threaten the continued operation of the Equality Act provisions protecting women-only services and spaces, which recognise the particular needs of women and the need for protection from sex-based violence.”

      Background

      Draft Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill (with consultation and impact assessments)

      Factsheet

      Blog by Equalities Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville

      The consultation will be open until 17 March 2020.

      Since the Gender Recognition Act 2004 came into force, trans people have been able to obtain a gender recognition certificate by applying to the Gender Recognition Panel, a UK Tribunal.  

      A full gender recognition certificate provides legal recognition that a person has transitioned from male to female or female to male.

      The Equality Act 2010, which is generally reserved to the UK Government, has a number of exceptions which allow trans people to be excluded from providing or receiving some single sex services, when it is proportionate and reasonable to do so.  

      The first consultation on gender recognition was held in early 2018. There were more than 15,500 responses. 60% of respondents were in favour of reform. The key findings to the consultation were published in November 2018.””
      Link to the above:
      https://www.gov.scot/news/gender-recognition-consultation-opens/

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      1. If you don’t understand how dangerous self-ID is by now, or how bogus the consultation was, I’d suggest you’ve either not been paying attention, or you have an agenda.

        https://www.scottishlegal.com/article/gender-recognition-reform-taking-place-under-the-radar-across-europe

        “Dr Kath Murray, research fellow in criminology at Edinburgh Law School, said: “Both the Scottish and UK governments have recently consulted on proposals to amend the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) 2004 that would enable someone to change their legal sex simply by making a statutory declaration. We were among those who responded to the consultation expressing concern that the Scottish government’s proposals failed to recognise a conflict with women’s sex-based rights as enshrined in the Equality Act 2010.”

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  2. Btw, a grounded feminist perspective would do wonders to re-vitalise Scotland’s progression towards independence. So it is more than a bit disappointing that the SNP have chosen not only to accommodated the science denial-ism and neo-liberal influence of radical trans-activism, but to privilege it in their policy and practice.

    Feminist Ontologies, Epistemologies, Methodologies, and Methods in International Relations
    https://oxfordre.com/internationalstudies/internationalstudies/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780190846626.001.0001/acrefore-9780190846626-e-178

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  3. Another piece of good news.

    That seems to be 2 Bills in a row voted through unanimously. Even less likely to be reported, as it might show that MSPs could work in a cross party manner on a regular basis, if all parties were fully Scottish, rather than branch offices. We could (whisper it!) work things out for ourselves. With no advice from any other government.

    Which I don’t suppose would suite the Union/MSM agenda at all…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The Domestic Abuse Laws are being used against women. Caroline Flack committed suicide. Abusers make false, malicious complaints, against abused women. Even if the complainant want it dropped. It is not. The Police know the complainant is lying. They make up false charges. The family Courts testify to that.

    Women who co habit (the majority) do not have equal rights with other women (or men 50/50). They have to put in a claim and fight through Courts (1/3?). It costs £thousands and can take years. Women can lose their house. Their homes and it affects children. Women have to stay in abusive, unhealthy (violent) situations because they do not have equal rights.

    Change the Law. There have been consultations going on for years. Nothing has been done. There is little legal aid. It has to be paid back in any case. Women can lose their homes through no fault of their own. It has been changed in England women can get legal.

    Rental Agencies (solicitors) illegally demand 6 months rent + deposit from women even those with good credit ratings and funds. This makes it difficult for women to find alternative accommodation and leads to homelessness.

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