How do I report domestic abuse?

Published 17 December 2015

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Domestic Abuse GIF

How to report Domestic Abuse

Although Christmas is often billed as the most wonderful time of the year, for some, it’s sadly the very opposite. Far from being a happy family holiday, the festive season can see an increase in domestic abuse incidents, due to the combination of seasonal stress, financial pressure and alcohol.

If you are a victim of domestic abuse, this article will point you in the direction of ways to report it and get help. Remember, in an emergency always call 999 (if the incident is ongoing or life is in danger).

If you have been the victim or witness to domestic abuse, or have concerns regarding a victim of domestic abuse there are several ways you can report this to the police.

  • If your partner, or ex-partner, is being abusive towards you(physical, verbal, sexual, psychological and financial) come forward and report it.
  • Police Scotland does not tolerate Domestic Abuse and reported incidents will be investigated thoroughly.
  • Support is available for all victims, please see the partner contacts on page 8.
  • The Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse Scotland (DSDAS) gives those in a relationship, or those concerned for them (e.g. friends, relatives etc), the ‘Right to Ask’ about an individual whom you suspect may have a history of violent or abusive behaviour towards a previous partner. Make use of it, you may save a life.

Domestic Abuse Coordination Unit

Police Scotland,

Clyde Gateway,

2 French Street,



G40 4EH

Reporting incidents assists Police Scotland in tackling domestic abuse.  The information you provide is valuable.  It enables us to identify areas of concern and patterns of behaviour that could lead to the prosecution of offenders and to ensuring the safety of the victim.

We will record all information submitted and appropriate action will be taken. 

Help us to help you

You can help us to help you by:

  • Providing as much detail as possible about what has happened to you. 
  • Making a note of the time and date and place the incident(s) took place. 
  • Providing the names and addresses of anyone who saw/heard the abuse or whom you told about what was happening to you. 
  • Keeping anything that may confirm what happened to you e.g. mobile phone video or audio recording, threatening text messages or abusive mail.

What will the police do?

Police Scotland is committed to providing a professional, sensitive and consistent approach to victims of domestic abuse. This means:

  • Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of victims, their families and any other person present.     
  • Conducting a thorough investigation into all incidents and reports, securing all available evidence and taking appropriate and robust action. 
  • Actively pursuing offenders so they can be held accountable for their actions through the criminal justice system. 
  • Ensuring that appropriate information and advice is provided to you and anyone you identify as a victim in relation to the support available from other agencies.

Standards you can expect

Police Scotland and the Crown Office and the Procurator Fiscal Service have agreed a joint protocol outlining procedures and practices to be followed in domestic abuse cases.  

You can download a copy of this protocol in the related files section below.

Click on the following link for information relating to Victims and Witnesses.

Domestic Abuse Investigation Unit Officers

There are Domestic Abuse Investigation Units within all 14 divisions in Police Scotland. Our specialist officers target and investigate domestic perpetrators, ensuring where possible, that they are held to account for their actions through the Criminal Justice System.

They will also ensure that a full risk assessment is carried out and that victims and their children are safe.

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Further Information

If you would like more information on domestic abuse, there is a wealth of help and advice available through the following links.

Contact Details

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Call 101 for non-emergencies and general enquiries, in an emergency call 999. If you have information about a crime you can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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