Police, the courts and Barlinnie Prison, where fans found guilty of domestic violence should spent salutory sentences behind bars.

Updated April 14

Given what goes on in and around them, these matches should be banned from taking place.

The Scottish Football Association do not have the courage to do that though.

Politicians are anxious that imposing a ban would lose them votes and the clubs themselves, including those not taking part in these matches, don’t want them to end for reasons of finance.

Football in Scotland would be finished were it not for Celtic and Rangers fans who attend away games against the very much less glamorous other clubs.

So, we are left here in Scotland with overworked and under-staffed A&E departments in our hospitals being subjected to pressure even worse than they have experienced throughout the covid pandemic.

And under-staffed police officers coming under serious physical attack and vile sectarian abuse from drunken “fans”.

We used to laugh when people spoke of television sets being hurled through the living room window by deeply disturbed drunk men when their team lost a goal.

And of partners falling out and whole households going silent when the wrong team won.

However, although these things are bad enough, we have taken a deeper look into the business of domestic abuse and it goes far beyond sore heads and a few black eyes, more than  a few of which will be around this Sunday morning.

In one jurisdiction, a woman has secured a temporary barring order against her husband after she told a court he has taken complete control of the house’s finances and heating and threatened he would “leave me in the gutter”.

She told a judge that she has had suicidal thoughts and locks herself in her bedroom every day “so he doesn’t come near me”.

Despite a safety order being put  in place, whereby the woman’s husband is prohibited to use or threaten to use violence, he persists.

However, the woman said since the order was put in place last year “things are progressively getting worse” with name calling, threats of violence, “ridiculing on a daily basis” and that her husband turns off the heating despite her needing it on for an illness she has.

The woman said: “He has threatened me that he’s going to leave me in the gutter and that things are going to get very nasty from here … He said an ambulance is going to be called.” 

“He puts his phone close to my face while screaming at me and towering over me … I lock myself in the bedroom on a daily basis so he doesn’t come near me. I stood on top of a cliff yesterday because I can’t take any more of his toxic behaviour.”

The woman said the man had breached the safety order on a number of occasions and she had been to the police numerous times and that her husband had been arrested.

She also said her husband had agreed to go to anger management and counselling in the past but that he never attended.

“Yesterday was a really dark day for me and I had to drag myself here today,” the woman added.

She said she waits until her husband leaves the home to turn on the heating and that he does the food shop for the house, but does not include her in it.

In a separate case, care workers told the court that an elderly man’s release from hospital was essentially being delayed due to concerns about him having to live with his adult son.

There were concerns from a community healthcare team regarding “financial abuse, emotional abuse and threats of physical abuse”.

The man is also “regularly” forced to give his son money and as a result “can’t afford to pay bills or buy food”, his care workers said.

They also said the man’s son takes his phone and he has “no way of contacting anyone in case of an emergency” and that he has been isolated from his family.

One of the care workers present said there was “an element of coercive control” as the man’s son has stopped family members and healthcare professionals from entering the home to support him.

She said a healthcare team could no longer enter the man’s home because of verbal abuse and threats of physical violence from his son.

Domestic violence is a scourge on our society. It’s no longer “just a domestic” as the police used to say when they were called out to a house where it was going on.

Women and children – and a few men – are suffering grievously. It has to be stopped.

So, instead of looking the other way, or making a joke of it, we should report domestic violence to the police and look to the courts to take action to deter and punish the perpetrators.

Here are some examples of what women have had to suffer at the hands of their abusive husbands: 

BREAKING NEWS:  On April 13, a serving Police Scotland officer walked free from court after he admitted “acting in a coercive and controlling manner” towards a woman PC. The officer had originally faced a charge of abusing her for two years including striking her with a door, grabbing her and trying to pull her off a bed. But after discussions with the Fiscal, his guilty plea to a reduced charge covering a shorter period of time was accepted ahead of his scheduled trial date. The police officer refused to accept the relationship with the woman was at an end, and repeatedly phoning, texting and emailing the woman PC  despite her telling him she wanted no contact. He admitted repeatedly turning up at her home uninvited and placing a number of cards and letters through her letterbox. The accused, a  cyber-crime specialist, admitted warning his victim’s friend to stop contacting her and accepted he had an unwanted card delivered to her home in the city.

BREAKING NEWS: On April 14, a man was accused of throwing his wife out of the marital bed to share it with a dangerous dog that attacked her.  After Jackson Caven’s dog attacked his wife and a child, police officers arrived to try and remove the pet from the property. But furious Caven told the officers he wanted to keep the dog and urged them to remove his wife from the house instead. Caven, 41, was found guilty of subjecting his wife Janice to a course of coercive and controlling behaviour for nearly two years. He was found guilty of shouting and swearing and acting aggressively towards her between 1 April 2020 and 22 March 2022. Caven had bail continued and sentence was deferred for the preparation of background reports until next month.

BREAKING NEWS: A mum who was abused by her American husband who found their legal dispute “sexually arousing” has won a battle to keep her US-born children in Scotland.The mother, who has been identified by Scottish judges as SD, fled her home in Illinois because she feared for her and her children’s safety. The Court of Session heard how the woman – whose present location hasn’t been disclosed – ignored US court orders to return the seven-year-old and four-year-old girl to the mid-western state.  In September 2022, an Illinois court found that she had abducted the girls.  Lawyers for SD, who holds UK, US and Irish passports, went to Scotland’s highest civil court in a bid to stop the children from being taken back to America. They initially lost their legal battle as a judge in the Court of Session’s Outer House ruled against her. This prompted SD’s legal team to go to the Inner House of the Court of Session. Appeal judges Lady Wise, Lord Malcolm and Lord Tyre heard evidence about how her husband, identified as AD, had sexually and physically abused his wife and had sent her scores of threatening texts. The court heard how SD described a number of sexual assaults by AD including attempted rapes on her. Consultant forensic psychologist, Professor Gary Macpherson, was shown 1,187 pages of text and picture messages sent to SD from AD.  He concluded that the messages established “common themes including belittling and emotional abuse, economic abuse and restriction of freedom of action”.  The texts also showed “suspicion paranoia, emotional dis-regulation” and “threats of violence including extreme sexual violence”.

A committee set up to address the problem of domestic abuse in West Dunbartonshire, which has the worst figures for it in Scotland.

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