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COVID-19 and support

Here you will find blogs and information on support available during the pandemic, updates about our services, changes to the justice system and more.

COVID-19: Support available for women experiencing abuse

We know that the pandemic paired with current government restrictions can be particularly stressful and challenging for women experiencing abuse.

If you are in this situation, we want to reassure you that you are not alone.

Many organisations, centres and groups are adjusting their services to offer helplines and remote support for those in need.

Domestic abuse during coronavirus: what can I do?

Woman sitting on a sofa, holding her legs up and looking into the distance.

To mitigate the spread of Coronavirus, the government has introduced restrictions that affect how we usually live our lives. In many cases, we have had to move many of our activities to the home. However, we know that for some women and children home is not a safe or comfortable place, and for some, these measures could increase the risk of experiencing abuse.

In this fast changing situation, we understand you might have questions about what to do if you are experiencing domestic abuse. In this blog, we answer some common questions, including reporting to the police, where to get support, finding alternative accommodation and protections offered by the law.

Child contact and coronavirus: answers to common questions

With the re-introduction of 'stay at home' measures and the highest level of lockdown restrictions across Scotland (Tier 4), it is understandable that you may feel anxious about child contact arrangements and what this might mean for you and your children.

In this page you will find general information about contact between your children and your ex-partner during the pandemic, as well as answers to common questions we’ve heard from women contacting us.

Last updated: 5 December 2021.

A guide to protective orders

Protective orders blog - image of woman standing outside, surrounded by buildings and looking straight at the camera.

When you experience any form of abuse or violence, you can request legal protections to keep yourself and your children safe from the abuse. These are known as Protective Orders, and they can legally prevent someone from doing certain things —for example, contacting or approaching you. The perpetrator will usually face legal consequences if they breach the order, which may include being arrested by the police.

When thinking of legal protections, often the popularly known ‘restraining orders’ come to mind. However, it’s important to clarify that Scotland does not have retraining orders and instead offers different types of Protective Orders.

In this guide we give an overview of each of them and explain what they do for the person who requests them.

Remote court hearings – what to expect and how to prepare

Image of woman sitting in front of computer and doing a video call.

With thanks to Hannah Cosgrove of Latta & Co Solicitors who supported the drafting of this blog.

Since the start of the pandemic, many court hearings which would usually take place in the physical courtroom have moved to a remote setting. Remote hearings have been taking place by telephone or video-conferencing call. This has been an adjustment for everyone: clients, witnesses, solicitors and the courts themselves.

With the easing of lockdown restrictions at the end of April 2021, it has been announced that criminal court hearings will be in person again, but the vast majority of civil (non-criminal) court cases will continue remotely.

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