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On The Beat: ‘If you were a victim of domestic abuse over Christmas, help is out there for you’

Detective Inspector Lesley Clark says help is out there if you, or someone you know, is affected by domestic abuse,
Detective Inspector Lesley Clark says help is out there if you, or someone you know, is affected by domestic abuse,

Did you know that every nine minutes police officers respond to a call of domestic abuse?

Shocking, isn’t it? The festive period, in particular, can be a cause of further worry and fear for victims, with Police Scotland historically experiencing a 25% rise in domestic abuse-related calls.

Officers within the north-east are committed to tackling this type of crime but we also still need help from you – the public – to help us do this.

Firstly, if you are reading this as a victim of domestic abuse and you have immediate concerns for your safety, contact the police immediately on 101 or 999 to let us know.

Alternatively, find a time and place which is safe to tell us your concerns. There is also the option to speak to a friend or family member who you trust, or an organisation that has been specifically set up to help people in your situation.

Please know that you are not to blame for what is happening to you and it is NOT your fault.

You are not alone but in order for us to help you, we need to know that abuse is taking place. Help is available to you and your concerns will be taken seriously.

Secondly, if you are a friend, family member or work colleague who is concerned that someone you know is at risk, it might be difficult to know what to do to help.

Your first instinct might be to intervene yourself, however, it could be dangerous for both you and the victim so my best advice is to let us know.

The Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse Scotland gives those in a relationship, or those concerned for them the ‘Right to Ask’ about an individual whom you suspect may have a history of violent or abusive behaviour towards a previous partner.

Submitting an application is very easy. It can be done at a police station where an officer can help, it can be done over the phone by calling 101 or it can take a few minutes by submitting an online application on the Police Scotland website.

Click here if you want to submit an application under the Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse Scotland 

Whilst your own contact information is helpful for follow up questions, it is not mandatory and the person you are concerned about will never be told who made the application.

Each case is considered by a multi-agency panel to determine whether disclosure is lawful, necessary and proportionate to protect the individual from their partner.

Make use of it, you may save a life.

It is a well-used phrase, but there is absolutely no excuse for domestic abuse at any time of year. We will do everything we can to support the person affected and bring their abuser to justice.

To report domestic abuse or if you wish to make an application for information under the Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse Scotland call Police Scotland on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

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