"Groundbreaking" new domestic abuse laws have come into force in Scotland.

Law enforcement officials and support services say the new legislation will make it clear that coercive and controlling behaviour is a crime.

The Scottish Parliament passed the Domestic Abuse Act in February last year, creating a specific offence of domestic abuse.

It covers not just physical abuse, but psychological and emotional treatment and coercive and controlling behaviour, where abusers isolate their victim from their friends and relatives or control their finances.

The law also takes into account the full breadth of violent, threatening and intimidating behaviour which can destroy a victim's autonomy and further recognises the impact on children.

The act also requires courts to consider imposing a non-harassment order on an offender convicted of a domestic abuse offence to protect their victim from further abuse.

Justice secretary Humza Yousaf said: "The Domestic Abuse Act makes absolutely clear that coercive and controlling behaviour is domestic abuse and a crime.

"I am proud Scotland is leading the way with this groundbreaking legislation, which uniquely recognises the effect of domestic abuse on child victims as well as adults."

A campaign to increase public understanding of domestic abuse and to encourage victims to seek help has been launched to coincide with the legislation coming into force on Monday.

Jennifer Jones, a freelance journalist from Glasgow, does not want to be known as a victim or a survivor.

The 34-year-old experienced psychological abuse at the hands of an ex-boyfriend during the course of their relationship several years ago.

She told STV News: "What you do when you are in a relationship like that, you create sets of rules to survive.

"It's a bit like that old analogy of a frog in boiling water; you don't realise you are in trouble until you are too late.

"When you finally get out of it and you are clear of the relationship, you then feel guilty about taking help because you think the help isn't for folk like me.

"The reality is this happens to anyone, it doesn't discriminate."

Ms Jones believes the new legislation will encourage people to start talking.

She added: "I think with the start of this legislation, it isn't about 'let's send the bad men to prison', it's about 'let's talk about this'.

"If we see it in our family, friends or colleagues, we can recognise if someone has lost their shine.

"If someone comes into work talking about their new partner and they're saying 'they are this and that', we can maybe have a conversation and ask 'are you okay?' and talk about it rather than let it get to a point where something really bad happens."

Another woman is also urging anyone affected to seek help.

Roshni, 29, left an abusive marriage with support from Hemat Gryffe Women's Aid in Glasgow.

She said: "At first the marriage was so good, but after a few months I realised there was something wrong. He didn't give me any money, so I always had to stay at home, I felt so isolated.

"He was always pushing me and abusing me in front of my family and friends.

"This was a really bad situation for me, I wanted to live with respect as a person.

"If you feel like you are in my situation being controlled or abused by your partner, seek help, it's your life."

Currently, one in four women experiences domestic abuse in Scotland.

Dr Marsha Scott, chief executive of Scottish Women's Aid, said: "At Scottish Women's Aid we think this new law has the power to transform Scotland.

"Coercive and controlling behaviours - forms of psychological and emotional violence that women and children have told us for years are the most traumatic - are now a crime in Scotland."

The Scottish Government bill team worked with Women's Aid experts across the country, Police Scotland, and the Crown Office Procurator Fiscal Service on the new legislation.

International expert Evan Stark has branded it the "world's new gold standard".

Dr Scott said: "This innovative new domestic abuse bill is the world's gold standard for domestic abuse law, which is why I am really excited about having the opportunity to work with everyone to implement this."

Despite the step forward, Scottish Women's Aid is fearful cuts to funding could threaten how the service responds to help those who come forward.

Dr Scott added: "Scotland is about to implement the world's best piece of legislation on domestic abuse at the same time as we are seeing in almost every local authority in Scotland that local services that support women and children are experiencing year-after-year cuts.

"It's possible that we would have a Scotland with the best law and no services, so one of the things I'm really asking is for local authorities and the Scottish Government to take responsibility to come together and figure out a strategy for replacing the funds that have been cut.

"If you don't have services for children, you can't support children."

Abused Men in Scotland (AMIS) was founded in 2010 due to an apparent lack of dialogue and service provision relating to men affected by domestic abuse.

Iris Quar, service manager, said the charity's helpline receives around 1000 calls a year from 350 men.

Ms Quar told STV News: "The hope is that this legislation will lead to change.

"There are so many obstacles in the way for men to seek help. I hope they realise that this law is for them too.

"We checked through our database - 80% of people we speak to have never contacted police.

"Our helpline allows men to talk about their experiences and we can point them to support services, but these are in short supply for men, especially if they also want to leave with their children."

Ms Quar said a gender stereotype does exist.

She added: "Men worry they are going to be laughed at or frightened they are not going to be believed.

"This whole idea that they should be able to protect themselves, it's deeply ingrained.

"A lot of work needs to be done to raise awareness that services are out there to help and this legislation is also for them."

Some men have reported choosing to sleep in their car so they can lock themselves in and feel safe.

Ms Quar added: "Some are attacked while they sleep.

"I've personally heard three times of men having boiling water poured over them while they are sleeping."

One man told the service: "Every time my wife has a 20p piece in her change, she puts it into a jar.

"I'm allowed to take some money out of the jar to buy my lunch. I can't take any food from the house and I'm not allowed to have any other money.

"I'm only allowed to use my debit card for fuel and sometimes I buy a drink or some crisps from the garage at the same time. I can't spend too much though, or she'll notice."

Another man added: "I'm exhausted. My wife makes me get up at 6am and I'm not allowed to go to bed before she does.

"I've felt dizzy and tired, so I've tried to have naps, but she doesn't let me. She stops me from going to bed.

"When she was out, I fell asleep on the sofa, but she shouted and screamed at me when she got back.

"Sometimes she'll wake the kids up in the middle of the night and then refuses to comfort them. She knows that I'll have to get up to look after them if she ignores them.

"She ignores them a lot. I'm too worried to leave them alone with her for very long.

"I came in from meeting my pals one evening and she was drunk. Our daughters were crying but she just carried on drinking vodka.

"I can't leave. I can't leave the kids with her. She won't let me leave with them."

Judges, sheriffs and Police Scotland officers received special training ahead of the new legislation.

Assistant chief constable Gillian MacDonald, crime and protection lead for Police Scotland, said: "This new offence is groundbreaking.

"For the first time, it will allow us to investigate and report the full circumstances of an abusive relationship.

"In preparation for the change in law, our officers and staff have received further training on the dynamics of power and control in abusive relationships to help recognise the signs, identify investigative opportunities and to tackle the myths and misconceptions of abuse that still exist.

"This new offence is a clear warning to abusers that all forms of domestic abuse are criminal and that perpetrators should expect to face the full consequences of their abusive behaviour."