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Domestic Abuse

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Police Scotland has identified a technical fault affecting some non-urgent Contact Us forms on our website, which has since been resolved.

If you completed an online reporting form between 3.30pm on Thursday 6 August and 8.30pm on Monday 10 August, please resubmit it here(

As always, any ongoing or emergency situation should always be reported by calling 101 or 999.

What is domestic abuse?

Police Scotland and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) have a shared definition of domestic abuse which is:

"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".

The Joint Protocol can be found here: Joint protocol between Police Scotland and COPFS


Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018

There is a common misconception that domestic abuse is only physical.  This is not the case. Domestic abuse can occur in many ways. The Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 came into force on 1st April 2019 and brought in a new domestic abuse offence which recognised that abuse was often a course of conduct, and that abusive behaviours included violent, physical, sexual, psychological and financial abuse. The offence carries a maximum tariff of 14 years.

Examples of domestic abuse (list below is not exhaustive):

Mental/emotional abuse: threats (including threats of violence); criticism and name calling; coercive control, controlling what you do, where you go and who you speak to; threatening your children, isolating you from friends and family; accusing you of being unfaithful; threatening to 'out' your sexual orientation to family, friends or work colleagues; sharing or threatening to share intimate images of you with family, friends or work colleagues

Physical abuse: hit, kick, punch, throw objects

Sexual abuse: rape, forced to engage in sexual acts

In the first year since coming into force, nearly 1700 Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act offences were recorded by Police Scotland.


Message from the Head of Public Protection, Police Scotland

“As an organisation we are continuing to develop a workplace culture where there is no tolerance for domestic abuse and which recognises that the responsibility for domestic abuse lies solely with the perpetrator.

“Perpetrators should understand, we will respond to all reports of domestic abuse. We will delve into their histories, we will speak to previous partners, and we will use all of the powers at our disposal to ensure they face the full consequences of their behaviour.”


How to report domestic abuse

If you, or someone you know, is or may be at risk of domestic abuse, please contact Police Scotland or our partner agencies for help.

You can contact us via our online reporting form however 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, where support is available 24/7. 

Partners & other organisations that can help