Under consideration PE1981: Ensure perpetrators of domestic abuse, who have been excluded from the matrimonial home, cannot force the sale of the property

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to strengthen legislation to stop perpetrators of domestic abuse, who have been excluded from the matrimonial home by a court order, being able to cause further trauma and distress to their victims by trying to force the sale of the property.

Previous action taken

I have written to my MSP, and the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Keith Brown MSP.

I have also contacted the Justice Committee, as well as organisations including the Law Society of Scotland, Sheriff Court, Shelter Scotland, Scottish Women’s Rights, Rape Crisis, and Women’s Aid.

Background information

There appears to be a loophole in existing legislation which allows perpetrators of domestic abuse, who have been excluded from the matrimonial home by a court order, to contact their victim via a solicitor. This can add to the distress experienced by the victim. A perpetrator of domestic abuse, who is removed from the property, should be unable to force sale of that property until the interdict put in place to keep the victim safe has expired.

In my case, the perpetrator was found guilty by a high court jury of rape and sexual assault but was acquitted due to the Moorov doctrine. The court granted an interdict and exclusion order preventing the perpetrator from contacting me or causing me mental injury or distress. Within weeks of the exclusion order being issued I received solicitors letters about the sale of the property. I have contacted dozens of people but no one can tell me if the interdict and exclusion order prevents him from doing that. It should not be this difficult for a victim to find the information about this or to get someone to help stop it.

  • Created by Caroline Gourlay
  • Considered from 9 November 2022

This petition is now under consideration by the Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

228 signatures