Are You Experiencing Abuse?

This website is not a resource for people who need help to leave an abusive relationship. If you need support, you can use Women’s Aid’s database of services to find a local service near you.



Welcome to our Domestic Abuse Research and Impact Page. We aim to be a source of up-to-date research information on domestic violence and abuse research for practitioners.

Our learning corner contains information on related topics like child maltreatment and the types and dimensions of domestic abuse. You can also look at our infographics page for downloadable PDFs. Please feel free to share these if you find them helpful! On all of our pages, you can click on any of our graphics to get further information from our sources.

We would like to thank Fife Women’s Aid for providing feedback on an early version of this website

Intimate Partner Abuse in Scotland: Facts and Figures

Did you know that about 65,000 adults report domestic violence to the Scottish police every year? 65 thousand only scratches the surface of the true rates. Most domestic abuse survivors experience multiple instances of maltreatment, and most instances of abuse go unreported. Our definition of domestic violence and abuse is also evolving. Some behaviours that were socially acceptable in a romantic relationship 20 years ago are no longer tolerated. But these less physical forms of abuse (i.e., name-calling, gaslighting, etc.) are even less likely to be reported to the police.

All of these numbers are so large that they can be hard to relate to. If you break these numbers down, you’ll find that the police receive a domestic violence call every 8 minutes.

The number of domestic abuse incidents reported to the police in Scotland is increasing. But these figures can be deceptive. First, count data is not corrected for population size. The population in Scotland in 1999 was ~5.1 million, whereas the population in 2022 was ~5.5 million. This means that we would expect an increase in the number of incidents even if rates of domestic abuse stay the same (or even decrease). Further, these numbers represent only those instances reported to the police. If people are now more likely to report abuse to the police (due to the decreasing cultural acceptability of abuse) than they were in 1999, this could also increase counts even without increasing rates. It is hard to know exactly what is going on in this data, but it is important to keep in mind some of the many different factors that influence count data.

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