Whole Lives Scotland

A three-year programme that aimed to review and improve the support available for domestic abuse victims in Scotland

Following our Whole Lives Scotland report in 2017, we were pleased to continue this work between 2018 and 2021 thanks to funding from the National Lottery Community Fund Scotland.

We worked with local authorities including Renfrewshire, Stirling and Aberdeen City to improve the responses for groups of victim-survivors across Scotland who often remain ‘hidden’ from identification.

Research findings

As part of the Whole Lives Scotland programme we carried out research to understand what was working and to identify gaps and barriers. This gathered insight from victims and survivors of domestic abuse, statutory services and a wide range of domestic abuse service providers. We also undertook a national survivor survey. The research found that:

  • the impact of domestic abuse is multi-faceted
  • many survivors experience abuse over a long period
  • most survivors don’t access specialist domestic abuse services.

See full research findings for Whole Lives Scotland



In Renfrewshire, we focused on victim-survivors with mental health needs, looking at the additional barriers they face in accessing support.


In Stirling, we focused on victims and survivors with learning disabilities – agreeing to look at this in the broadest sense, encompassing mild to complex levels of need and inclusive of those with or without a clinical diagnosis.

Aberdeen City

In Aberdeen City, we focused on younger victims and survivors, aged 16-25, considering whether they face additional barriers in accessing support.

Read individual reports and recommendations

Your Story Matters: National survivor survey

Between 2019 and 2020 we held a survey to hear the voices of over 300 survivors from every local authority area in Scotland. The findings help us improve the response to domestic abuse with our partners across Scotland.

See survey results

Report and recommendations

Whole Lives Scotland report

Findings from our project to improve the responses for domestic abuse victims and survivors who often remain 'hidden' from identification and the support that they need.

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