By Islay McColl
Pam Gosal MSP has started the process at Holyrood to create a domestic abuse register in Scotland, where West Dunbartonshire has the worst record for this in the whole country.
The Scottish Conservative MSP has brought the bill proposal forward after Scottish Government statistics showed cases of domestic abuse increasing in Scotland for five years in a row.
The number of cases locally usually soars to new levels on Old Firm match days, and Celtic play Rangers this coming Saturday.
On Monday morning, the consultation will go live for Pam Gosal’s proposed Domestic Abuse Prevention Bill.
The bill would introduce a domestic abuse register, similar to the sex offender’s register. It would also introduce mandatory school-age education on the scourge of domestic abuse.
The proposed bill by Pam Gosal, who became Scotland’s first Sikh MSP in 2021, would also require the government to look at access to domestic abuse services for underrepresented communities.
On Tuesday, Pam Gosal, right, will meet with Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Keith Brown MSP, to discuss the proposal and seek to build cross-party consensus to pass the bill.
The proposed Bill has been shaped by feedback from numerous domestic abuse organisations who Pam has met with in recent months, including Victim Support Scotland, AMIS, and Sikh Sanjog.
Pam Gosal, said: “I’m proud to be bringing forward a bill proposal to tackle such a horrendous crime as domestic abuse, which has shockingly been on the rise in Scotland for five years in a row.
“It has been heart-breaking to speak with many victims of domestic abuse about the horror they’ve gone through when seeking safety and justice. In many cases, repeat offenders have managed to get away with making life hell for several victims before they are apprehended.
“My proposed bill would introduce a domestic abuse register, which would operate in a similar way to the sex offender’s register, and help to crack down on this appalling crime.
“I am also seeking to expand awareness of domestic abuse and access to services for those in need, particularly in BAME communities where I know that too often, domestic abuse goes unpunished.
“I hope on this issue that politicians across the Scottish Parliament will set aside political differences and work together.
“It’s very welcome that Keith Brown has agreed to meet to discuss the proposal and I hope that we can build cross-party consensus on the need to act urgently to tackle the scourge of domestic abuse.”