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Thorley Stephenson SSC is an Edinburgh based law firm providing a wide range of legal services in family, child and criminal court cases throughout Scotland. Tel: 0131 556 9599
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Woman sues ex-boyfriend for domestic abuse and alleged rape

In a landmark case, a woman who claims she was raped by her ex-boyfriend and a domestic abuse victim is suing her former partner for personal injury damages.

The parties of the case, who have been anonymised as ‘AB’ for the pursuer and ‘CD’ for the defender, began their relationship in 1999. AB claims that the abuse from CD started in the last month of 2006.

Perth Sheriff Court heard that among the non-consensual sexual acts alleged in this case is one of rape, which is denied by the defender CD, as well as claims that pursuer AD suffered domestic abuse.

This is thought to be the first case of its kind in which damages have been sought for personal injury as a result of alleged rape and a ‘course of conduct’ of domestic abuse at the hands of a former partner.

The sheriff ruled it was important these matters were looked at by a senior judge in the Court of Session after observing that the issues raised in the case were a matter of ‘public interest and concern’:

“In 2018, the Scottish Parliament passed the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act. Section 1 of that legislation is directed at a course of abusive behaviour which is likely to cause the other party physical or psychological harm. What is averred on the part of the pursuer in the present action certainly has all the characteristics of behaviour which would fall within the ambit of that section.”

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