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New initiative to Better Protect Domestic Abuse Victims

The Scottish Government has announced the expansion across Scotland of an initiative designed to increase the safety of domestic abuse victims by reducing the risk of domestic abusers reoffending. 

The Caledonian System is a specialist court-mandated programme working with male perpetrators, which also aims to improve the lives of women and children affected.

It isn’t an alternative to prosecution but is a direct alternative to custody and to other high tariff community disposals given after an accused has been convicted of a domestic abuse related offence. 

It is currently being used by several local authorities in Scotland, including Aberdeen City, City of Edinburgh and North Ayrshire, and the Scottish Government has now made £2.8 million available for local authorities to apply for support to roll out the Caledonian System within their area.

The Caledonian System places an absolute priority on the safety of partners and their children.  There was a strong belief among women interviewed for the evaluation that the Women's Service, and the fact that it works together with the Men's Programme as a system, had both contributed significantly to making them safer.

“It is crucial that we have a range of services across Scotland for those affected by domestic abuse and that these services include interventions to support perpetrators to change their behaviour,” commented Linda Rodgers, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Women's Aid. “The Caledonian Programme is a safe and robust perpetrator programme developed in Scotland for the Scottish context.”

“I am absolutely delighted that the programme will now be operating and enhancing the safety of women and children across Scotland,” she added.

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