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Highland domestic abuse incidents decrease - but most incidents go unreported

By Rachel Smart

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Domestic abuse incidents have decreased but most go unreported.
Domestic abuse incidents have decreased but most go unreported.

Victims of domestic violence have been encouraged to seek support and report incidents to police, following a reduction in recorded cases.

Newly published statistics show Police Scotland recorded 61,934 incidents of domestic abuse in 2022-23, a decrease of 4 per cent compared to the previous year.

During this period there were 2365 incidents of domestic abuse recorded by the police in the Highlands. 34 per cent of these incidents included a crime or offence. In the previous year the number of incidents recorded in Highland was 2401.

Where gender information was recorded, around four-in-five incidents of domestic abuse (81 per cent) in 2022-23 had a female victim and a male suspected perpetrator. This was the same as in 2021-22.

In 2022-23, the 31 to 35 years old age group had the highest incident rate for both victims and for the suspected perpetrators.

A third of incidents occurred at the weekend in 2022-23. 51 per cent of incidents took place at the victim’s home.

Most domestic abuse, however, are not reported, with it being estimated that only 16 per cent of incidents were reported to the police.

Victims Minister Siobhian Brown said: “Domestic violence is abhorrent. Although these latest statistics show a decrease in police recorded incidents, we know that there are cases where violence and abuse is not reported. I would encourage victims to seek support from organisations who can help and, where they can, to report any abuse to police.

“Through Scotland’s Equally Safe Strategy, which focuses on early intervention, prevention and support services, we are putting in place measures to tackle the root causes of domestic abuse. It is imperative that where behaviours turn into violence and abuse, those responsible face the full force of the law and are brought to justice. Our landmark Domestic Abuse Act has provided more powers to police and courts to punish perpetrators of abuse and protect people at risk.

“This month we announced £2 million of funding for Rape Crisis Scotland and Scottish Women’s Aid to help reduce their waiting lists for women who need support services, including refuge places and counselling. This is in addition to £19 million annual funding from our Delivering Equally Safe Fund, which aims to tackle gender-based violence and has supported 121 projects from 112 organisations since October 2021 – benefitting almost 32,000 people in its first year.”

If you have been impacted by this story contact Scottish Women’s Aid – 0800 027 1234 (open 24 hours)

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