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Domestic abuse and young people

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Domestic abuse can occur in relationships between any age group. Where the age of the victim has been recorded, those aged 18 and under, account for about 4% of all domestic abuse incidents reported to Police Scotland.

Domestic abuse statistics are published on the Scottish Government website


What counts as domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is not always physical (hit, kick, punch, etc.), it can happen in many ways and at any time, even after you’ve chosen to end the relationship.

Abusive behaviour and domestic abuse can include where your boyfriend/girlfriend/partner:

  • controls, regulates or monitors your day to day activities
  • isolates you from family, friends or other sources of support
  • deprives or restricts you of your freedom
  • is violent, threatening or intimidating
  • makes you feel nervous or frightened
  • embarrasses or humiliates you
  • punishes you
  • destroys your property or cherished possessions
  • forces you to engage in sexual acts
  • threatens to publish explicit photos of you
  • sends threatening text messages


Warning signs

It is important to know the difference between a loving relationship and a controlling one. What might appear as someone caring for you, can be signs of an abusive relationship.

It can be hard to spot the warning signs, here are some things you can look out for. Does your boyfriend/girlfriend/partner:

  • text, message and call you all the time?
  • want you to spend ALL your time together?
  • get jealous when you chat to friends and other people?
  • make you wear clothes that they like?
  • put pressure on you to take the relationship further?
  • try to humiliate you when you fall out?
  • say they would KILL themselves if you left them?
  • threaten you?


What can you do?

If you, or someone you know, is experiencing domestic abuse, it is important to get help as soon as possible.

Police Scotland is 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 at your local police station.
  • Use our online reporting form. (Only where the abuse is not ongoing).

You can also submit a ‘Right to Ask’ application

Support is available 24/7 via Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline on 0800 027 1234.


Partners & other organisations that can help


  • you are not to blame
  • it is not your fault
  • you don’t have to put up with it
  • help is available