What can I do if this is happening to me?
This page provides information for those who are being affected by domestic abuse and how to approach your future.
On this page:
We are committed to tackling domestic abuse and keeping people safe. Please contact us or our partner agencies for help.
If the abuse is ongoing please always phone 101, or 999 in an emergency.
You can also;
- Speak to the police in person by attending your local police station
- Use our online reporting form (Only where the abuse is not ongoing)
- Contact Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline on 0800 027 1234. You can get support 24/7.
The Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse Scotland (DSDAS) aims to stop domestic abuse. It gives people the right to ask about the background of their partner. It also gives relatives and friends the chance to ask about someone’s partner if they are concerned they've been abusive in the past.
You can submit a Right to Ask application if you are concerned about yourself or someone else.
Domestic abuse occurs in many ways. Each person is different.
Below are some ideas to consider which may help you keep safe. Have a safety plan.
If your decide to stay, please consider:
- If an argument occurs, try to leave if safe to do so and take children with you
- If it is not possible to leave and an argument occurs, try to avoid being anywhere where weapons can used for example the bathroom, garage or kitchen
- Plan possible escape routes for every room in the house, even practice the escape
- Know where the window and door keys are
- Tell your friends and neighbours what is going on and ask them to call the police if they hear anything concerning
- Teach the children when to call for help and ensure they know how and when to call for help without being in danger
- Have emergency numbers on your phone or the children's mobile phones
- Create code words or a phrase for friends and children so they know when to call for help and leave danger areas
- To avoid confusion, keep the code word the same for everyone
- Make sure that they know where you are if you use the code on the phone
- Plan where to go in an emergency and think about the safest way to get there
- Make sure you know the important helpline numbers such as police, advocacy worker, doctor, school etc
- Calls to 999 are free and the number 112 (the European emergency services number) will also connect you to Police Scotland
- Create a diary for evidence, this will help in civil or criminal court proceedings
- Use mobile apps such as BrightSky or Hollie Guard if safe to do so
- Hestia - Bright Sky – provides a UK-wide directory of specialist domestic abuse support services. You can use a journal tool to log incidents via text, visual and audio format.
- Hollie Guard – this app has a reports function. It allows users to quickly record an incident which is time stamped and geo tagged.
If you plan to leave, there are some things you should consider:
- Carefully plan when you'll leave, give yourself plenty of time to pack and get away safely
- Leave at a safe time, for example when the abuser is at work or at an appointment
- Consider talking to a solicitor before leaving. You can discuss money with them.
If you have left the relationship:
- Make your house secure for example by changing locks, window locks, putting in an alarm, and using movement sensitive lights
- Turn off location services on mobile phones, devices and applications (apps)
- Use the number 141 when making a call so the numbers cannot be traced
- Get a new mobile phone and only use your old mobile for contact with your ex-partner
- Talk to your children's school about what is happening
- Only meet your ex-partner in a public place
- Avoid meeting the ex partner at all
- Use family and friends to pick children up from the ex-partner
- Talk to a solicitor about your options. You can get an interdict or Non Harassment Order.
A planned escape is the safest way to leave an abusive relationship.
Responding to reports of domestic abuse is a priority for us. Every report received is looked at and investigated.
Our officers and staff are committed to tackling domestic abuse. You will be treated in a fair, sensitive, respectful and ethical manner.
- Making sure victims are safe
- Investigating all incidents. Evidence will be gathered and acted on
- Actively pursuing domestic abusers so they can be punished
- Giving the right information, advice and support from other agencies.
* This document was not created by Police Scotland and may not be fully accessible.
What can I do if this is happening to someone I know? page for information to assist someone you know who is affected by domestic abuse.
Partners and other organisations page provides information of people who can help.