1 in 4 women in Scotland experience domestic abuse at some point during their lifetime. 80% of recorded incidents have a female victim with a male perpetrator.

Based on domestic abuse statistics, it’s likely that you will know someone who is experiencing, or has experienced an abusive relationship. It might be a family member, friend, neighbour, colleague or even someone you only see occasionally eg hairdresser. If you know, or suspect that someone you care about is experiencing domestic abuse, it can be upsetting and difficult to know what to do.

It’s human nature to try to help in times of need and for most people, their first instinct is to try to get someone to leave the abusive relationship. Unfortunately, it is almost never that simple.

There are many reasons why people stay with abusive partners, and a woman is often at most risk at the point of leaving or just after leaving the relationship. Whilst it’s understandable that you want to help, offering support and reassurance that you are there to listen when she/he is ready to talk is probably the most important thing you can do.

If you do suspect domestic abuse, do not ignore it. Women experiencing abuse are often scared, ashamed and confused, and many won’t realise it is domestic abuse or don’t want to accept that their partner is abusive. Providing a safe space to talk without judgement will be invaluable if someone discloses abuse.

We are here to offer support to women, children and young people experiencing domestic abuse.