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Zero Tolerance submits response to Scottish Government 'Equally Safe' Consultation

Zero Tolerance has submitted our response to the Scottish Government's 'Equally Safe' Consultation, on whether or not it should make changes to the criminal law in Scotland, as it relates to violence against women (VAW).

The ‘Equally Safe’ consultation has three main strands:

1.  Creating a new specific offence of ‘domestic abuse’, which would make the law more reflective of survivors’ experiences; and would mean perpetrators could be prosecuted for using controlling, coercive and abusive behaviours as well as physical violence; and creating an aggravator so that crimes such as common assault could be considered as having been aggravated by being committed in a context of Domestic Abuse.

2.  Making the non-consensual sharing of private, intimate images a crime. This would tackle so-called ‘revenge porn’, where partners or ex-partners seek to humiliate women by sharing private images; the threat of this can be used a controlling tactic.

3.  Bringing in jury directions in sexual offence cases, to help juries to understand issues around delayed reporting and women’s reactions to rape (e.g. not resisting with physical force), to overcome their preconceptions about ‘the right way’ to respond to a sexual assault.

The consultation also covers the use of non-harassment orders in cases where the perpetrator is too unwell to stand trial; and proposes new provisions to allow Scottish courts to prosecute sexual offences committed outside of Scotland but within the UK.

Download our full consultation response here. Other organisations and the public are encouraged to use this document to inform their own responses.

To read more about this consultation, please visit our blog.

The deadline to respond to this consultation is this Friday 19 June 2015.




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