SafeLives to deliver domestic abuse training across the whole of Police Scotland

15th May 2018

Today Police Scotland announce that SafeLives has been appointed to train 14,000 Police Scotland officers in identifying controlling behaviours to support the introduction of the new Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act. 

SafeLives Chief Executive, Suzanne Jacob said:

“We are really delighted by today’s news. We now have the chance to change culture in relation to domestic abuse across the whole of Police Scotland. That’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to make life better for victims, survivors and their children all across the country.

SafeLives research found that over 130,000 people in Scotland live with domestic abuse every year, with 68% of victims who access specialist support disclosing controlling behaviour, and 56% physical abuse.

“The police play a vital role in the response to domestic abuse – protecting victims and children and holding perpetrators to account. This training will allow us to work with partners ASSIST, the Caledonian System, Sacro and Scottish Borders Safer Communities team to develop common understanding and awareness across Police Scotland around the dynamics of abuse, coercive control and the tactics used by perpetrators. We’re committed to making sure Police Scotland feels and is ready for implementation of the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill in 2019.

“We look forward to delivering this work in collaboration with many expert partners from across the domestic abuse sector in Scotland - reflecting the diverse experiences of survivors and families. We know that together we can improve the response and ensure more people receive the right support, at the right time to keep them safe from fear and harm.”

Read the full Police Scotland press statement

For interviews or more information, please contact Penny East, Head of Communications, on 07818593562 or at penny.east@safelives.org.uk

About SafeLives

We are a UK wide charity dedicated to ending domestic abuse, for good. We combine insight from services, survivors and statistics to support people to become safe, well and rebuild their lives.

Since 2005, SafeLives has worked with organisations across the UK to transform the response to domestic abuse, with over 60,000 victims at highest risk of murder or serious harm now receiving co-ordinated support annually.

No one should live in fear. It is not acceptable, not inevitable, and together – we can make it stop.  

Domestic abuse affects us all; it thrives on being hidden behind closed doors. We must make it everybody’s business. 

Key findings in Scotland – taken from SafeLives’ Whole Lives report

  • In 2015/16 Police Scotland recorded almost 60,000 incidents of domestic abuse. Half of these led to the recording of a crime or offence.
  • 14% of adults (18.5% of women and 9.2% of men) report having experienced physical or psychological partner abuse since the age of 16. This means that almost one in five women in Scotland will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime.
  • Based on the population and presence of domestic abuse, SafeLives estimates that every year over 9000 women at risk of serious harm or murder.
  • We estimate that over 12,000 children in Scotland are living with the highest risk domestic abuse.
  • The average length of abuse before seeking support is 4 years.
  • One in 10 victims of abuse had attended A&E as a result of the abuse in the previous 12 months.