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Strengthening domestic and sexual abuse law 31/03/2016 The Scottish Parliament passed The Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm Bill earlier this month, tackling the way modern technology can be used to perpetrate abuse

Strengthening domestic and sexual abuse law

The Scottish Parliament passed The Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm Bill earlier this month, tackling the way modern technology can be used to perpetrate abuse and creating a new offence of sharing private intimate images without consent.

The new Bill also modernises criminal law and strengthens powers for the police, prosecutors and courts to take action against perpetrators of domestic abuse, harassment and sexual offences.

Under the new law judges will be required to give juries specific directions when dealing with sexual offence cases, designed to improve juries’ understanding of sexual violence, which is a known barrier to access to justice for victims.

A new statutory domestic abuse aggravator will also be introduced to ensure courts take domestic abuse into account when sentencing an offender.

The Bill ensures that child sexual offences committed in England and Wales by Scottish residents can be prosecuted in Scotland. It also reforms the system of civil orders to strengthen protection for communities from those who may commit sex offences.

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