The festive season traditionally sees an increase in reported incidents of domestic abuse and the recent holiday period has been no exception. However, this year's increase was less than it has been in previous years, Police Scotland has reported.
“Reports of domestic abuse over the Christmas and New Year period reduced by 6.1%, which equates to over 300 fewer calls to police,” explained Assistant Chief Constable Gillian MacDonald, Crime and Protection, Police Scotland. “On New Year’s Day alone, traditionally a day of the most heightened risk, the number of incidents reported reduced from 393 on 1st January 2017 to 366 on 1st January 2018. This means that there were nearly 30 fewer calls on that one day reporting incidents of violence and abuse to the police.”
“Each year we run a campaign to raise awareness of abuse, to deter perpetrators and to prevent offending,” she said. “Our campaign this year focused on the controlling behaviours including abusive language used by perpetrators to demean, isolate and destroy the confidence of their victims - behaviours that victims have told us are often worse than physical violence.”
“This campaign has been extremely well received and it paves the way for the new legislation that criminalises abusive behaviours that may cause physical or psychological harm, which is due to be introduced later this year if passed through Parliament,” she added. “This new law will allow us to record offences where perpetrators seek to exert power and control over their victims.”
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