Domestic abuse

Statistics cover first year of Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act.

All victims of domestic abuse are being urged to report incidents to police by Justice Secretary Keith Brown.

The call comes after official figures show the police recorded 62,907 incidents of domestic abuse in 2019-20 - an increase of 4% compared to the previous year.

The period covers the first year of the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 which created a new offence of domestic abuse to give more powers to police and courts to punish perpetrators of abuse and protect people at risk.

When the Act was implemented on 1 April 2019, the Scottish Government ran a nationwide campaign to raise public understanding of domestic abuse and to encourage more victims to report incidents and seek support.

Cabinet Secretary for Justice Keith Brown said:

“These statistics are a stark reminder of the unacceptable levels of domestic abuse that occur in Scotland.

“A person’s home should be a place of safety and we know that is not always the case and that women are disproportionately victims of domestic abuse.

“The new offence of domestic abuse has been heralded as gold-standard legislation in strengthening the law against those who undertake a course of abusive behaviour, including both physical and psychological abuse, and we have been clear that we want to see all incidents of domestic abuse reported.

“Last year we provided more than £5.75 million in additional funding for frontline services supporting women and children experiencing, or at risk of, violence or abuse, to help respond to an increase in demand during the pandemic.

“We welcome any indication that more people are coming forward to access justice and we continue to encourage all those who experience domestic abuse to report it and seek support.”


Read Domestic abuse: statistics recorded by the police in Scotland - 2019/20

Read more about the Domestic Abuse Act

£825,000 of funding was provided to Police Scotland around the time of implementation of the new offence so they could introduce a programme of change for their officers and staff entitled Domestic Abuse Matters (Scotland).  This extensive training programme sought to continually improve the response to domestic abuse; tackles the myths of coercive and controlling behaviours, highlights the tactics abusers use, and will develop and embed a workplace culture where there is no tolerance for domestic abuse.


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