Following an increased number of domestic abuse crimes reported, Police are reminding communities that there will be no let-up in the fight against domestic abuse and will continue to target offenders over the festive period.
Police Scotland officers have investigated a total of 131 incidents involving domestic abuse in the last month, resulting in over 100 people being charged and reported to the Procurator Fiscal.
Detective Inspector Neil Campbell, of the Domestic Abuse Investigation Unit, said
Domestic abuse can come in all forms, ranging from emotional and verbal abuse, through to violence of varying levels. No matter what form it takes, it is equally traumatic and can have a significant lasting effect on victims, as well as others, such as children who all too often witness this abuse. Sadly there have been a number of incidents recently which have involved serious injury to the victim. Our message to perpetrators across the region is that their actions will not be tolerated and there will be consequences. If you have committed or are committing abuse towards your partner, time is running out and there is no hiding from justice.
We are launching our national ‘Love Doesn’t Control’ campaign, in an effort to raise awareness of domestic abuse and highlight the part that coercive control plays in it. This encompasses a range of emotional, mental and torture techniques used to control abuse victims. Victims will often feel isolated and degraded, as their partners control daily activities, such as social interaction, telephone calls and clothing choices. They will be walking on eggshells, living in fear and feeling like they are a hostage.
I would use anyone who is a victim, or anyone who suspects domestic abuse may be occurring, to report their concerns to Police or other domestic abuse agencies. The Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse Scotland (DSDAS) is also a mechanism that allows individuals and concerned friends or family members to make enquiries about a partner, if they are concerned that they may have an abusive past. This allows possible victims to make informed decisions about initiating or continuing a relationship. The application form can be completed online through the Police Scotland website.
We will continue to work with a number of partner agencies, such as Grampian Women’s Aid, Moray Women’s Aid and Victim Support Scotland, to help support those affected by domestic abuse. The Scottish Domestic Abuse Helpline, which can offer advice and details on various support options, is available 24/7 on 0800 027 1234.
Aberdeenshire and Moray Division will be targeting known offenders and conducting dedicated patrols in the region, utilising officers from local Community Policing Teams, Violence Reduction Unit and the Domestic Abuse Investigation team. Offers have also gained support from a number of shops and supermarkets across the Division, who will display posters and leaflets dealing with domestic abuse.
Superintendent Kate Stephen, from Aberdeenshire and Moray Division, said
Domestic abuse is a complex issue and, by nature, often occurs behind closed doors and across all communities. It is an absolute priority for Police Scotland in Aberdeenshire and Moray. Officers from our local Domestic Abuse Investigation Unit are committed to investigating these incidents on a daily basis and we also have regional support through the Domestic Abuse Task Force.
It has become clear over the years that there is a significant rise in reports of domestic abuse over the festive period. The combination of increased alcohol consumption, family gatherings and financial pressures can lead to arguments and result on violent incidents. Our constant advice is to drink sensibly, think about the consequences before you act and, where appropriate, seek support to prevent offending. However, when offences do take place, we will act quickly and appropriately to protect victims and deal with perpetrators.
This robust response applies not only to domestic abuse, but to all incidents of violence across the festive period. This time of year is traditionally a time of celebration and we want to encourage people to enjoy themselves in a safe and responsible manner. Know your alcohol limits, plan any socialising in advance and look out for your friends. Police Scotland is committed to keeping people sage by working closely and ensuring that the very small minority do not have the opportunity to disrupt the festive period for the rest of society.
Anyone with any concerns about domestic abuse, violence or has any incidents to report, is urged to contact Police Scotland on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if you wish to remain anonymous.