Non-sexual violence in Scotland: report

Findings on the most up to date, complementary statistics on non-sexual violence in Scotland.

This document is part of a collection

10 Glossary

Attempted murder

An attempt to bring about the end of a person’s life.

Common assault

The act of assault which occasions minor injury or no injury. In the SCJS, this is termed ‘minor assault’.


Defined according to the severity of physical injury sustained, with ‘lower-harm’ and ‘higher-harm’ referring only to the extent of physical injury recorded or assumed. More broadly, ‘harm’ is a subjective term that varies according to personal experience and can encompass emotional, social, economic, and psychological injury, however this is outside the scope of this enquiry.


Unlawful killing.

Partner abuse

In Scotland, Partner abuse refers to abusive behaviour to a partner or ex-partner and can incorporate emotional, physical, sexual abuse as well as coercive and controlling behaviour. (Domestic Abuse in Scotland includes partners only, whereas in England and Wales this also includes family members).

This report uses data from the SCJS Partner Abuse report, and for this reason, the terminology Partner Abuse is used rather than Domestic Abuse.  


A person accused or convicted of committing a violent crime. In self-report surveys and Police recorded crime the perpetrator may not be convicted or legally accused, nonetheless they are defined as ‘perpetrator’ for standardisation across the report.

Serious assault

The act of assault which occasions severe injury.


A person physically harmed or injured, or who has felt under threat of physical injury. 

Violent crime/ Violence

Violent crime includes a variety of non-sexual offences that involve injury or the threat of injury. Not all violent crimes results in physical contact between perpetrator and victim; for a crime to be considered as violent it suffices for the threat of physical injury to be present, such as an attempted assault. 



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