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Summary

  1. The Public Petitions Committee takes evidence on a petition titled 'make more money available to mitigate welfare cuts'
  2. MSPs quiz Nicola Sturgeon in first minister's questions.
  3. SNP MSP Richard Lochhead marks World Cancer Day with a debate
  4. MSPs debate the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill at Stage 3

Live Reporting

By Louise Wilson and Craig Hutchison

All times stated are UK

That ends a historic day at the Scottish Parliament as the Domestic Abuse Bill passes

Dr Marsha Scott from Scottish Women's Aid and colleagues recieve the plaudits of every MSP
bbc
Dr Marsha Scott from Scottish Women's Aid and colleagues recieve the plaudits of every MSP

That ends a historic day at the Scottish Parliament as the Domestic Abuse Bill passes.

MSPs vote to pass the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill.

The legislation will create a specific offence of "abusive behaviour in relation to a partner or ex-partner".

This includes psychological abuse such as coercive and controlling behaviour as well as violence.

Members applaud the women in the public gallery
bbc
Members applaud the women in the public gallery

A well deserved standing ovation for women's organisations

Dr Marsha Scott, centre with the scarf fellow women's organisation representatives
bbc
Dr Marsha Scott, centre with the scarf from Scottish Women's Aid

Representatives of Scottish women's organisation, including Scottish Women's Aid's Dr Marsha Scott, recieve a standing ovation from all MSPs (probaby including the one MSP that voted against it.)

MSPs give a standing ovation to all the women in the gallery
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MSPs give a standing ovation to all the women in the gallery
Women
bbc

BreakingMSPs pass the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill

Woman comforts woman
Laura Dodsworth

MSPs pass the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill.

The legislation will create a specific offence of "abusive behaviour in relation to a partner or ex-partner".

This includes psychological abuse such as coercive and controlling behaviour as well as violence.

118 MSPs vote for it and one voted against.

Members applaud the women in the public gallery
BBC
Members applaud the women in the public gallery

Minister concludes with moving testimony of a survivor of domestic abuse

Public gallery moved to tears
BBC
Public gallery moved to tears

Mr Matheson concludes with moving testimony from a survivor who engaged with the parliament on this Bill.

"Today as a parliament we stand with Dorothy and Nicola and many others who stood up against domestic abuse."

Cabinet secretary confirms funding for training

Michael Matheson
BBC

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson says those engaging with the victims of domestic abuse must have a proper understanding of the details within this Bill and confirms he has provided additional funding for training.

Lib Dems MSP Liam McArthur asks about the predictability of funding over the next few years.

The justice secretary confirms the Scottish government will continue to monitor this going forward.

He reiterates the the forthcoming consultation on the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 will consider several of the issues around child protection raised by members throughout the debate.

'There is much more to do but we are moving forward'

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson
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Justice Secretary Michael Matheson

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson says Holyrood is often at its best when it comes together and tackles some of critical problems we face as a society.

Mr Matheson reiterattes that nearly 60,000 cases of domestic abuse were reported to Police Scotland and there are many more unreported.

He says it is still a blight on many who suffer the scourge of domestic abuse.

The justice secretary says: "There is much more to do but we are moving forward."

Resources must be available for victims, says Tory MSP

Abuse survivor
Laura Dodsworth

Margaret Mitchell welcomes the amendment passed today on creating a presumption for non-harassment orders.

If this Bill is to give victims of psychological abuse justice, sufficient resources to support victims and witnesses must be available, she says.

There also needs to be a publicity campaign to ensure victims come forward, she concludes.

Background: Domestic abuse law 'could change Scotland' says campaigner

So if you have arrived to the debate late, here is a recap:

A Bill to criminalise psychological domestic abuse will be passed at 5pm with some campaigners saying it "could change Scotland forever".

The Domestic Abuse Bill, which has wide backing, creates a specific offence of "abusive behaviour in relation to a partner or ex-partner".

Abuse
Laura Dodsworth

This includes psychological abuse such as coercive and controlling behaviour as well as violence.

Critics claimed it could be difficult to gather sufficient evidence.

However, Dr Marsha Scott, the chief executive of Scottish Women's Aid, said she was "excited" that the Scottish Parliament was about to pass the bill.

Tory MSP says there is 'total consenus' behind the Domestic Abuse Bill

Tory MSP Margaret Mitchell
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Tory MSP Margaret Mitchell

Tory MSP Margaret Mitchell says it is clear there is total consensus in the chamber for the introduction of the Domestic Abuse Bill.

Ms Mitcell says there is currently a gap in the law when trying to address coercive and controlling behaviour.

"There does not have to be black and blue bruises to be a victim of domestic abuse."

'Domestic abuse is a stain on our society'

"Domestic abuse is a stain on our society," begins Labour MSP Claire Baker.

The Bill is significant in its understanding of coercive abuse and its impact on women's lives, she says.

Labour MSP Claire Baker
BBC
Labour MSP Claire Baker

The additional training to be given to police is welcomed but the member expresses concern about the fact judicial training remains optional.

Concerns about funding for women's support organisations are also raised and Claire Baker urges the Scottish government to consider how to resolve this.

She hopes the Bill will improve the lives of women and children.

This legacy of change belongs to the many victims of domestic abuse says SNP MSP

SNP MSP James Dornan
bbc
SNP MSP James Dornan

SNP MSP James Dornan says he has spoken to Rape Crisis and Scottish Women's Aid and the Waves Project in Castlemilk which shows how important the Domestic Abuse Bill is.

Mr Dornan pays tribute to the women who have told him their stories of surviving abuse.

This legacy of change belongs to the many victims of domestic abuse, says Mr Dornan.

'We can begin a healing process'

SNP MSP Christina McKelvie
BBC
SNP MSP Christina McKelvie

SNP MSP Christina McKelvie says: "Today we do make history."

"We can begin a healing process, the scars of which have existed by some centuries," she adds.

This Bill shows the Scottish parliament is a guarantor of human rights, Ms McKelvie states.

She says all perpetrators share controlling and coercive characteristics.

It is a gendered crime which overwhelmingly impacts women - but not exclusively, she states.

Methods of control are insidious, often subtle but equally harming, the SNP MSP adds.

"Finally, we can ensure the victims of domestic abuse will have their voice, will have our support and will have justice", Ms McKelvie concludes.

Tory MSP calls for police training

Tory MSP Maurice Corry
BBC
Tory MSP Maurice Corry

Tory MSP Maurice Corry urges the Scottish government to address concerns about the requirements being places on police officers, in particular giving proper training in the new law.

Background: Police change 'zero tolerance' domestic abuse approach

Police Scotland has changed its approach to domestic abuse which previously meant almost all alleged perpetrators were kept in custody.

Before the shift, the zero-tolerance policy meant accused were held until they could appear at a court hearing.

The policy change means about one in five accused, those who are judged to be less of a risk to the victim, are now released on special conditions.

Clasped hands
BBC

Police said the written undertakings were "very stringent".

These could include conditions such as being forced to leave the family home or not approaching the alleged victim.

They would also state that an accused has to appear in court within the next 14 working days.

Domestic abuse not just physical violence

SNP MSP Fulton Macgregor
BBC
SNP MSP Fulton Macgregor

SNP MSP Fulton Macgregor highlights emotional abuse and coercive behaviour are also forms of domestic abuse, and it is not just physical violence.

Background: 'I thought he would kill me but I didn't tell the police'

'A lot of the abuse he got away with'

Sarah says she helped her boyfriend conceal his abuse because she was scared of how he would react if she told the police.

"I was covering up for him so they might have been thinking it was not that bad but really it was hell," she says.

"There were two times when I thought he was going to murder me but I concealed that from the police."

Sarah, a name we are using to protect her anonymity, says her ex-boyfriend was arrested when other people had called the police but he was "very clever" and always managed to break the conditions of his bail without getting caught.

Read more of Sarah's story.

Lib Dem MSP praises the powerful testimony of survivors of domestic abuse

Lib Dem MSP Liam Mcarthur
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Lib Dem MSP Liam Mcarthur

Lib Dem MSP Liam Mcarthur also praises the powerful testimony of survivors in informiing this legislation.

Mr McArthur says his party looks forward to voting to pass this Bill shortly, albeit more needs to be done.

He says the Bill provdes certainty that what people, mainly women, have suffered will be recognised and the perpetrator brought to justice.

Mr Mcarthur says it is right non-harassment orders must be considered by courst in domestic abuse cases and he welcomes Linda Fabiani's success during this afternoon's amendment stage.

Background: Training for police to identify 'insidious' abuse

ACC Gillian MacDonald said officers would be trained to support victims
BBC
ACC Gillian MacDonald said officers would be trained to support victims

Police officers and staff are to receive training to prepare them for a planned change in the law on domestic abuse.

A total of 14,000 police and control room staff will be given the training this year, ahead of the expected implementation of the new legislation.

Assistant Chief Constable Gillian MacDonald, of Police Scotland, said the bill would target crimes which are more "insidious", and that officers would require additional training to be able to identify the new offences.

ACC MacDonald said it was a complex area which could include financial control and restricting a victim's activities and movements, which could often result in a lack of confidence.

Read more.

'We'd be failing if we didn't legislate'

Green MSP John Finnie
bbc
Green MSP John Finnie

Green MSP John Finnie thanks the courageous people who gave such harrowing evidence to the Justice Committee.

Mr Finnie says: "There is a gap in the law that needs to be filled."

He says years of psychological abuse takes it toll and on the children too.

The former senior policeman says: "We'd be failing if we didn't legislate."

Background: Slight rise in domestic abuse cases in Scotland

Domestic abuse victim
Laura Dodsworth

The number of domestic abuse incidents has risen by 1% over the past year, according to figures released by Police Scotland.

Between April 2016 and March 2017 59,000 incidents were recorded, nearly half of which resulted in at least one crime or offence being recorded.

In 79% of cases there was a female victim and a male accused. Women were accused by men in 18% of incidents.

The overall figure has decreased slightly over the past five years.

Read more.

Labour MSP praises women's organisations for making this Bill happen

Praise for the gallery!
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Praise for the gallery!

Labour MSP Kezia Dugdale says too often women's organisations have to justifty their existence for every funding round, but she says this Bill shows what they do and why they are needed.

This is an ambitious and bold Bill she says, citing four reasons:

  1. it removes the accused from being allowed to conduct their own defence
  2. it creates the crime of coercion
  3. non-harassment orders
  4. bail restrictions for those accused of domestic abuse
Labour MSP Kezia Dugdale
bbc
Labour MSP Kezia Dugdale

Tory MSP urges the minister to consider emergency banning orders

Tory MSP Michelle Ballantyne
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Tory MSP Michelle Ballantyne

Tory MSP Michelle Ballantyne says this Bill takes meaningful and necessary steps to tackle domestic abuse.

Ms Ballantyne urges the minister to consider emergency banning orders.

"I hope this will be a watershed moment for all those who have suffered at the hand of abusers."

Background: Concerns raised about attaining sufficient evience

Grazia Robertson, a criminal solicitor in Glasgow,
bbc
Grazia Robertson, a criminal solicitor in Glasgow,

Grazia Robertson, a criminal solicitor in Glasgow, told BBC Scotland it could be difficult to secure prosecutions.

"How would you gather sufficient evidence to successfully prosecute in a criminal court?" she said

"I think there will be problems."

She said the bill acknowledges that prosecutions may not be able to rely on evidence from the person who has been abused.

"You may be relying on the evidence or perceptions of other people and that will make it more difficult," she said."

Domestic Abuse Bill is 'quite simply a groundbreaker'

SNP MSP Rona Mackay
bbc
SNP MSP Rona Mackay

SNP MSP Rona Mackay says the Domestic Abuse Bill is "quite simply a groundbreaker".