Domestic abuse in Scotland

In Scotland, domestic abuse is legally defined as 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.

Legislation known as DASA (Domestic Abuse Scotland Act) 2018 created an offence with respect to the engaging by a person in a course of behaviour which is abusive of the person’s partner or ex-partner; and to make rules of criminal procedure for that offence and offences subject to the statutory aggravation involving abuse of partners or ex-partners.

Scotland’s strategy to ending Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) can be read here, Equally Safe: National strategy

Within the context of Scottish and UK governments and mix of reserved and devolved powers as well as nationally distinct local authority, health, policing structures, the response in Scotland to domestic abuse differs from that in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Our Scottish Training Team provide bespoke training on a number of these UK-wide variations to organisations, on request.

Learn more about our Scotland based training

Contact the team to commission a course:

Email our Scotland training team

The picture of domestic abuse in Scotland:

  • The picture of domestic abuse in Scotland:

    incidences of DA in Scotland (2021-2022)

  • The picture of domestic abuse in Scotland:

    of Police Scotland time spent on domestic abuse

  • The picture of domestic abuse in Scotland:

    children in Scotland are estimated to live with the highest risk domestic abuse

  • The picture of domestic abuse in Scotland:

    of reported incidents occurred at the weekend and 89% occurred in a home or dwelling.

  • The picture of domestic abuse in Scotland:
    Around 4 in 5

    (81%) incidents of DA involved a female victim and a male perpetrator

  • The picture of domestic abuse in Scotland:
    over 7,000 women

    are estimated to be experiencing high risk abuse annually

Learn more about SafeLives Scotland

SafeLives Scotland

Access our programmes and resources aimed at professionals working in Scotland.

Meet the Scotland team

Find about the SafeLives team working on programmes in Scotland and the advisory group that guides our work here
Two women looking at a notepad.

Independent domestic abuse advocate (Idaa) training

Idaa Training aims to equip managers or practitioners in domestic abuse services in Scotland with the knowledge and skills to offer a consistent, safe and effective response to high risk victims of domestic abuse.