Domestic abuse incidents up one per cent

Michael Matheson

Domestic abuse figures published today show there were 58,810 incidents in 2016-17, up one per cent from 2015-16.

The figures – recorded by Police Scotland – also show 79 per cent of incidents had a female victim and a male accused.

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said the figures demonstrate the need for the Scottish government to continue its drive to reduce gender-based violence.

Mr Matheson said: “While figures have been relatively stable over the past five years, they remain evidence of the unacceptable levels of domestic abuse in Scotland. We know these figures don’t paint the whole picture, as victims are often too afraid to report abuse. We also know domestic abuse disproportionally affects women.

“It is crucial our work continues with even greater urgency. We have allocated record funding of £20 million over three years towards eliminating violence against women and girls, and we are taking forward legislation to introduce a new offence, criminalising the type of coercive and controlling behaviour that can constitute domestic abuse.

“Attitudes towards domestic abuse are changing – it’s no longer seen as a private matter, or no business of criminal law. We are grateful to the Police and our partner organisations for the work they are doing to change attitudes and behaviours, and we will continue our campaign to eradicate the scourge that is domestic abuse.”

Assistant chief constable Nelson Telfer, Police Scotland, said: “Domestic abuse is a continuing problem which affects every community across Scotland. The contribution of our partners and communities is key and we remain committed to reducing the harm caused by domestic abuse, and protecting victims remains very much a priority for Police Scotland.

“No-one is immune from domestic abuse, it can occur in every type of relationship, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or age. Domestic abuse is often about control, the blame for which lies solely with the perpetrators.

“As a result of the roll out of the Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse Scotland, people who suspect that their partner may have a violent past have the right to ask for information. If you or anyone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, we ask that you please come forward and report it.”

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