Domestic Abuse

The new domestic abuse law came into effect in Scotland on 1st April 2019. The law now recognises psychological harm as well as physical harm as an offence. For more information please see the following links:

Information on the new legislation

Safer Scot website

In 2018-2019 Police Scotland recorded 60,641 incidents of domestic abuse in Scotland.

In 2018-19, 9 women were killed by a partner or ex-partner in Scotland.

Dundee city has the highest police recordings of domestic abuse with 157 per 10,000 of the population.

Dundee population = 148, 270

Domestic Abuse is a pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, by a partner or ex-partner. It is very common. In the vast majority of cases it is experienced by women and is perpetrated by men.

Domestic abuse can include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Coercive control (a pattern of intimidation, degradation, isolation and control with the use or threat of physical or sexual violence)
  • Psychological and/or emotional abuse
  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Harassment and stalking
  • Online or digital abuse

 “Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

“Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.”

The above definition describes the behaviours that constitute domestic abuse, however it is important to also understand the motivation of perpetrators which is to have power and control over the survivor.

Please click here for a range of videos from Scottish Women's Aid explaining domestic abuse and coercive control.