Staying Safe

Internet and Phones

Here are a few things to be aware of when online

  • Keep your personal information private – check your privacy settings so that only people you want to see your stuff can see it. You are sometimes better to do this on the desktop versions of sites, instead of on apps.
  • Learn how to block people/ accounts that you don’t know to stop them from being able to chat or message you
  • Have a think about what you post and say online. What you think is funny now may affect you in the future
  • If someone you have only had contact with online asks you to meet them in person, tell someone you trust
  • People online may not be what they seem. It’s better to only interact with people you know in the real world

Social Media and Internet Dating

Think U Know

This site offers information on sex, relationships and the Internet, giving practical advice on where to get help, answering questions and looking at case studies of real people. 

Sharing Images

Not Yours to Share works to help people better understand legislation around image sharing. The site is based on four case studies to illustrate the law and what you need to know. 

On the Move

Your chances of becoming a victim of crime whilst travelling are low and public transport is a safe way to travel. However you can take still take some simple steps to stay safe whilst on the move - in your vehicle, on foot, going by public transport or in a taxi / private hire car. Read more in our Keep Safe section.  

Student Safety

Police Scotland are working with Universities and colleges nationally on our Student Safety campaign to promote key messages to help students feel safe as term time comes to a start.  You can also read the Young Scot Student Safety Guide here.

Life at Home

Domestic Abuse 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".

There is a common misconception that domestic abuse is just physical abuse. This is not the case. Domestic abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional or mental abuse.

Physical abuse includes:

  • All types of assault and physical attacks like hitting (including with objects), punching, kicking and burning.

Sexual abuse includes:

  • Forcing you to have sexual intercourse or forcing you to engage in sexual acts.
  • Mental/emotional abuse includes:
  • 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 (commonly known as ‘Revenge Porn’).

Report domestic abuse

If someone’s life is in danger or if the incident is ongoing call 999. Otherwise, call 101 or use the online reporting form

For more information on domestic abuse, including how to report it, the disclosure scheme, information on how Police Scotland will respond to domestic abuse incidents and support services visit this link

Honour Based Abuse

Childline - Forced Marriage

Because forced marriage is illegal, it can happen in secret and can also be planned by parents, family or religious leaders. It may involve physical abuse, sexual abuse or emotional abuse. These pages explain what to do if you're being forced into marriage, and what the difference is to an arranged marriage. 

MyGov - Forced Marriage

Men, women and children of all ages and backgrounds can be victims of forced marriage.  Whatever the situation, if anyone uses emotional or physical pressure to force you into a marriage or a civil partnership without your consent, this is an abuse of your human rights and against the law. This page gives access to the Victim's Code for Scotland, explaining these rights and giving details of who you can contact for help. 

Female Genital Mutilation

FGM is a crime in Scotland and contravenes the Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation (Scotland) Act 2005, which also makes it an offence to take a girl out of the country for the purposes of undergoing FGM. Female Genital Mutilation is one of the severest forms of child abuse. Read about our campaign to end FGM here.


Missing People - Young People

Feel like running away? Worried about someone who has? There’s advice and help out there.


Sex and Relationships

Think U Know - Sex and Relationships

Need advice about sex and relationships? Someone you don’t know messaging you online or are you chatting to someone on your webcam? Click here for information on how to keep you and friends safe and learn what the law says about sex, relationships and young people.