Domestic abuse incidents rise for fifth year in a row

A majority of incidents involved a female victim and a male accused.

Domestic abuse incidents rise for fifth year in a row iStock

The number of domestic abuse incidents in Scotland has risen for the fifth year in a row.

Police Scotland recorded a total of 65,251 incidents in 2020-2021, an increase of 4% on the previous year.

The official statistics cover the period between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021.

A majority of incidents (80%) involved a female victim and a male accused, with 16% involving a male victim and a female accused.

In the remaining 3% of cases, the victim and the accused were the same gender.

A total of 91% of all incidents took place in either a home or dwelling, whilst 31% occurred at the weekend.

The 31 to 35-year-old age group had the highest incident rate for both victims, with 282 incidents recorded per 10,000 population and for the accused, with 260 incidents recorded per 10,000 population.

During the period, 40% of incidents recorded by police included the recording of at least one crime or offence.

Common assault accounted for 32% of all crimes and offences recorded, followed by breach of the peace accounting for 23%.

At local authority level, Dundee City (177), West Dunbartonshire (168) and Clackmannanshire (158) recorded the highest incident rates per 10,000 population.

Last week, a minute’s silence was held at the Scottish Parliament for all women killed by men this year.

It took place ahead of a debate on eliminating violence against women and girls.

Scotland’s social justice secretary Shona Robison pledged that tackling all forms of gender-based violence is a core priority for the Scottish Government.

“This year we particularly have in mind the tragic cases of Sabina Nessa, Sarah Everard, Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry, which have shone a spotlight on the violence that many women face,” she told MSPs.

“But the awful truth is there are many more murders that do not get the same level of attention – the latest UN figures show that around 87,000 women around the world were killed by men in 2017 alone.”

She added: “Violence against women and girls is underpinned by inequality and the attitudes and structural barriers that perpetuate it.

“That is why the Scottish Government has focused on ensuring that women and children get the help they need, with tackling all forms of gender-based violence as a core priority.”