SCOTLAND has seen a rise in incidents of domestic abuse for the fifth year running, new figures have revealed.

Data released by Scotland’s Chief Statistician, Roger Halliday, shows police recorded 65,251 incidents of domestic abuse in 2020-2021. This is an increase of 4% on the previous year.

Of the incidents, a total of 40% (25,825) included the recording of at least one crime or offence. This is in line with 2019-2020, which also saw 40% of incidents lead to the recording of at least one offence.

The National:

Per 10,000 of the population, Dundee City is the Scottish region with the highest rate of domestic violence incidents. The area recorded 177 incidents of domestic violence per 10,000 people in 2020-2021.

Dundee is followed by West Dunbartonshire (168 per 10,000), Clackmannanshire (158 per 10,000), Glasgow City (148 per 10,000), and West Lothian (146 per 10,000).

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At the other end of the scale, Na h-Eileanan an Iar recorded 48 incidents per 10,000 people in 2020-2021. Orkney (51 per 10,000), East Renfrewshire (56 per 10,000), East Dunbartonshire (62 per 10,000), and Shetland (63 per 10,000) make up the five areas with the lowest incidence rates.

The Scottish average was 119 incidents of domestic violence per 10,000 people.

The data shows that of the incidents recorded, 80% were male on female violence. It says that 16% was female on male, while the remaining cases were between people of the same gender.

The National:

It notes that this breakdown by gender has remained relatively consistent over time, with women making up the majority of domestic abuse victims.

Half of incidents (50%) were between current partners, while 49% were between former partners. The remaining 1% is categorised only as "other".

The statistics also show that the most common place for the incidents of abuse to occur was in the victim’s own home. While 39% of cases occurred here, 31% occurred in another dwelling, and 15% in a home shared by the victim and accused. Just 6% of cases occurred in the home of the accused.

The newly released statistics cover the period in which Scotland was in lockdown due to Covid-19. However, it notes that the 4% increase is the same as had been seen up to 2019-2020, with levels also growing in the longer term.

As such, it states: “When reviewing the year as a whole, some caution is advised in necessarily attributing all changes to Covid-19.”

There was a largely even spread of incidents across weekdays, with a slightly higher incidence rate at weekends and a slightly lower rate midweek.

The National: Dr Marsha Scott from Women for Independence

Scottish Women’s Aid's Dr Marsha Scott (above) said the figures highlighted "the sheer enormity of domestic abuse in Scotland".

She went on: "We remind everyone regularly that Covid does not cause domestic abuse, but that it has given perpetrators more tools for controlling and coercing and has made help-seeking so much more difficult for those living with domestic abuse. This can be seen by the ongoing increase that has been occurring for the last five years.

"It is also worth noting that the most women do not report to police, so these figures represent only a fraction of what is actually happening in our families and communities. We would also very much like to know what percentage of the cases included children in the family so we had a more accurate picture of how children are being impacted.

The full statistical release can be found here.

If you feel scared of your partner or if you are worried about someone you know, get in touch with Scotland’s 24 hour Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline on 0800 027 1234 email or visit