Hawaii’s new domestic abuse law influenced by Scotland

A new bill introduced in Hawaii to tackle coercive control took influence from a similar Scottish law.

Hawaii’s new domestic abuse law influenced by Scotland
Domestic abuse: Coercive control 'first step' towards violence.

Scotland has been credited with influencing a new law targeting domestic abusers in Hawaii.

Lawmakers in the US island state took inspiration from this side of the Atlantic when introducing a bill which adds coercive control to the definition of domestic abuse.

At the signing of the bill by Hawaii Governer David Ige, one of its architects revealed that the success of a similar law introduced in Scotland played a big part in their decision.

David Tarnas, the representative for House District 7 in Kohala and North Kona, said: “This bill is acknowledge that coercive control is the first step towards domestic violence and if we can identify there and stop it there then we can save lives.

“I want to thank Barbara Gerbert who was the first person to tell me about Scotland, where they incorporated coercive control into their statute and it was shown to be very effective over time by reducing the amount of domestic abuse cases that escalated to violence.

“They feel that it really did prevent homicides from happening in an area where they had significant problems in Scotland.”

Police Scotland superintendent Gordon McCreadie welcomed the news on Twitter.

He said: “When I was appointed in 2017 I never imagined that Police Scotland, and partners including MAV Scotland, would influence legislative change in Hawaii on coercive control.”

A woman who survived years of domestic abuse told STV News how a support group helped turn her life around after 30 years of abuse.