What is domestic abuse?
In this page you can discover what domestic abuse is, information on the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act and how you can report it.
On this page:
Police Scotland and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) see domestic abuse as:
"Any form of physical, verbal, sexual, psychological or financial abuse which might amount to criminal conduct and which takes place within the context of a relationship. The relationship will be between partners (married, cohabiting, civil partnership or otherwise) or ex-partners. The abuse may be committed in the home or elsewhere including online".
Read the Joint protocol between Police Scotland and COPFS.
Domestic abuse isn't just physical. It can happen in many ways.
The Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 began on 1 April 2019. Abuse now includes violent, physical, sexual, psychological and financial abuse.
The offence can carry maximum of 14 years.
Domestic abuse can include:
- being threatened
- name calling
- controlling what you do, where you go and who you speak to
- threatening your children
- not being allowed see your friends and family
- accusing you of cheating
- threatening to out your sexual orientation
- sharing - or threatening to share - intimate images of you with family, friends or work colleagues
- being hit, kicked, punched, or have objects thrown at you
- rape, being forced into sexual acts.
If you, or someone you know, is at risk of domestic abuse, please contact Police Scotland. You can also contact our partner agencies for help.
You can contact us via our online reporting form. If the abuse is ongoing please always phone 101, or 999 in an emergency.
Or contact Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline on 0800 027 1234. Support is available 24/7.
What can I do if this is happening to me? for more information on what to do if you are a victim
Partners and other organisations for information of people who can help