Report: Domestic abuse incidents on the rise in Scotland
MSPs will introduce a bill to tackle domestic abuse, which continues to disproportionately affect women
The rate of recorded domestic abuse incidents in Scotland has increased by 28% in the last decade, according to Police Scotland statistics.
A report on the rates — published by the Scottish government — show that the number of recorded domestic abuse incidents increased from 45,331 in 2005-2006 to 58,104 in 2015-2016.
It represents a per capita increase of 14%, from 95 incidents per 10,000 people to 108.
The number of incidents that led to a conviction rose by 6,400, while the number of recorded incidents that did not lead to a conviction rose by a similar amount.
However, between 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 the number of incidents fell by almost 1,800, and are down from a high of 60,080 in 2012-2013.
Women continue to be disproportionately affected by domestic abuse, with 77% of all registered incidents recorded as violence in some form by men against women.
According to Scottish Women’s Aid, a charity concerned with preventing domestic abuse, this type of offense “is a pattern of dominating and isolating someone through fear and threats or undermining their self-confidence and self-esteem” which can often involve physical violence too.
In the interactive chart below, prepared with the official statistics, you can see what the rate of domestic abuse is for each county in Scotland, and how that rate has developed since 2006:
Historically, the statistics show that the county with highest rate of domestic abuse has been West Dunbartonshire with 169.2. This is followed by Glasgow City (162), Dundee City (157.4) and Clackmannanshire (139.6).
Official data also shows that 27 counties in Scotland have seen increased rates of domestic abuse in the last decade. The highest rate of increase is the Orkney Islands, which almost tripled its rate since 22 in 2006 to 64 in 2016. Shetland Islands also saw a sharp increase, by 167%, from 22 to 58. Eileanan Siar and Aberdeenshire almost doubled their rates.
Five counties in Scotland managed to reduce their rate of domestic abuse, but the achievements were slight. The most successful result is Edinburgh City’s, which saw a decrease of 13% from 128 to 111. The others are Glasgow City (-11%), Dumfries & Galloway (-7%), West Durbantonshire (-1%) and Inverclyde (-0.4%).
Rona Mackay, MSP, said last week that the Parliament is working on a new Bill to tackle domestic abuse, the Milngavie Herald reports.
“While we understand Scotland is moving in the right direction, it is recognised there is still work to be done in achieving gender equality,” Mackay said. “Concerns such as domestic abuse and violence against women remains a priority with the government, and we are working on a new Bill to tackle this.”
In addition, the Scottish Government has announced that it will provide three years of funding to charities focused on domestic abuse, instead of the 12 months currently required.
Equalities secretary Angela Constance told STV: “We are committed to tackling all forms of violence against women and girls, and to supporting the organisations that provide this vital support.
“I’m delighted to announce we will be moving to a three-year funding programme, in particular for projects supporting women and girls affected by violence.”
According to the Scottish Charity Regulator, there are 31 active charities whose activities are directly related to reducing domestic abuse.
Featured image: Scottish Parliament Debating Chamber, by Colin / Wikimedia Commons.