In the News – domestic violence bill (Scotland), child benefit #rapeclause & tampon tax
Survivors of domestic abuse have helped to frame much-needed bill by Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Justice (Scotland)
.... Creation of this new offence will bring clarity for victims so they can see explicitly that what their partner or ex-partner has done to them is wrong and perpetrators will see what they are doing is criminal and unacceptable behaviour. The offence will improve the powers of the police, prosecutors and our courts to hold perpetrators to account in specific cases.
Framing a new law in this area is obviously complex and we have considered very carefully how to frame a new offence recognising psychological abuse.
It is important that the law clearly distinguishes between abusive behaviour amounting to control and manipulation and the ordinary types of low-level disputes and arguments that can happen in any relationship.
In order for the offence to be committed, three different conditions have to be met. Crucially, behaviour must be abusive as the key condition. ...
SNP minister and charities attack UK's child benefit rape clause by Brian Donnelly
The policy and attached "rape clause", due to be implemented on Thursday, will cap Child Tax Credit entitlement at two children, and deny women financial support for any subsequent ones unless they can prove that the children were a result of rape.
Reliant on a third-party reporting system, this policy would put local Women’s Aid and Rape Crisis groups in a position where they must certify to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) that a child had been born of rape or coercion in order for women to receive appropriate benefits.
This would, the charities state, fundamentally change the relationship between vulnerable women and those working to support them – a risk Rape Crisis Scotland and Scottish Women’s Aid are not willing to take.
A new row has broken out over the so-called tampon tax after it emerged that a quarter of a million pounds from a controversial levy on women’s sanitary products is to be given to an anti-abortion organisation.
Under pressure from campaigners after failing to honour a pledge to scrap the 5% VAT on sanitary products, former chancellor George Osborne said that more than £10m a year would be redistributed from the tax receipts to women’s charities.
But there was consternation on Saturday night among women’s groups and politicians who had campaigned on the issue after it emerged that £250,000 of that money is going to Life, a charity that campaigns against abortion and has been at the centre of controversy over the information provided by a network of unregulated pregnancy counselling centres.Download this post as PDF? Click here