A DEDICATED domestic abuse court has been established in Edinburgh to provide further support for victims of domestic abuse and bring offenders to court quickly.
The court aims to try and stamp out or at least significantly descrease instances of domestic abuse in the Capital.
Welcoming the move, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill today said: “Domestic abuse is completely unacceptable and this government is committed, both financially and morally, to bringing an end to this disgraceful behaviour.
“This dedicated court in Edinburgh is a welcome step forward underlining that domestic violence will not be tolerated and the perpetrators will be dealt with swiftly and severely.
“I support tough penalties for any perpetrators of domestic abuse and last year we introduced a new offence of ‘engaging in threatening or abusive behaviour’ to give greater protection to victims. We also introduced a ground breaking phone helpline for male victims of domestic abuse.
The pilot court will initially deal with cases from south and east police divisions with the intention of rolling out to other divisions. The pilot is planned to run initially for one year involving offences committed in the south and east police Divisions on or after 09 December 2011. From 07 February 2012 diets are being held fortnightly. The court will have a designated Sheriff, Sheriff Clerk and Procurator Fiscal.
He added: “Punishment is one element of a much broader response to tackling domestic abuse and supporting victims. I was particularly pleased to hear today how the judiciary, local authorities, local criminal justice organisations and support services plan to work together to support victims not only at court, but prior to and after their case.
“We have dedicated £55 million towards preventing violence against women during 2008-12 and continue to work with our partners to bring about an end to this intolerable crime. We know the effects of domestic abuse can be devastating, including on children and young people, and we are determined to tackle it, wherever and whenever it occurs.”