Violence in Scotland

In 2017-2018 there were 59,541 incidents of domestic abuse recorded by Police Scotland. Women made up 82% of the victims. (Source)

In 2018-19 there were:

  • 2,426 cases of rape and attempted rape reported to Police Scotland. (Source)
  • 5,123 cases of sexual assault reported to Police Scotland. (Source)
  • 8% increase in sexual crimes from 12,487 to 13,547. The recording of these crimes is at the highest level seen since 1971, the first year for which comparable groups are available. (source)
  • While figures for many crimes in Scotland are going down, for sexual offences they continue to rise. Sexual crimes have been on a long-term upward trend since 1974, and have increased each consecutive year since 2008-09. Sexual crimes are at the highest level seen since 1971, the first year for which comparable crime groups are available. (source)

The actual figures are higher than these statistics suggest due to low reporting of these crimes. Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2014 - 2015 showed that only 16.8% of people who were victim-survivors of rape reported it to the police. (Source)

One in ten women in Scotland has experienced rape & one in five women in Scotland has had someone try to make them have sex against their will. (source)

Research indicates that only 58% of people in Scotland believe that a woman who wears revealing clothing on a night out is ‘not at all to blame’ for being raped, with 60% saying the same of a woman who is very drunk. Around a quarter think that ‘women often lie about being raped’ and nearly 2 in 5 believe that ‘rape results from men being unable to control their need for sex’. (Source)

35% of women do not feel safe walking alone in their neighbourhood after dark. (Source)


Exacerbated by other forms of inequality

Disabled women are twice as likely to experience men’s violence as nondisabled women. (Source)

83% of trans women have experienced hate crime at some point in their lives. (Source)

Black and minority ethnic (BME) and migrant women face higher levels of domestic homicide and abuse driven suicide. (Source)


Low rates of conviction rates

In 2016-17, the conviction rate for rape and attempted rape fell to the lowest level since 2008/09. In a year where there were 1,878 rapes and attempted rapes reported to the police, there were only 98 convictions.


In 2016-17, there were 58,810 domestic abuse incidents reported to the police – an increase of 1% from the previous year. 30,630 were dealt with by prosecutors, there were 10,830 convictions, a 12% decrease from 2015-16, the lowest level since 2012/2013.


Violence worldwide

Globally, as many as 38% of murders of women are committed by a male intimate partner. (Source) A wide scale European study carried out by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights in 2014 found that an estimated 83 million to 102 million women (45 per cent to 55 per cent of women) in the EU-28 have experienced sexual harassment since the age of 15. (Source)


Cost of VAWG

Scottish Government estimates, based on a study in England, found that domestic abuse costs the Scottish public purse £2.3 billion while VAWG costs Scotland £4 billion (Source).

VAWG costs England’s NHS an estimated £2.9 billion every year. The cost per person of providing cognitive trauma therapy was estimated at £1,600.

Mental health VAWG, including emotional abuse and coercive control, has been linked to a greater risk of adverse mental health outcomes among women. The most prevalent include depression, suicide attempts, post-traumatic stress, other stress and anxiety conditions, sleeping or eating disorders and psychosomatic conditions. Many of the physical health impacts of VAWG will also have direct implications for women’s mental health.


Gender inequality

51% of the population of Scotland are women.

Yet women make up only:

  • 35% of MSPs, 25% of local councillors, 16% of council leaders, 17% of MEPs.
  • 28% of public body chief executives, 26% of university principals, 23% of sheriffs, 7% of senior police officers.
  • 0% of major newspaper editors, 19% of major museums and art galleries directors, 14% of national sports bodies chief executives, 0% of CEOs of ‘top’ businesses.
  • (Source)

On average women in Scotland earn £182.90 per week less than men. (Source)

Women are four times more likely than men to give up paid work to do unpaid care work. (Source)

The economic value of the unpaid care provided by women in the UK is estimated to be £77bn per year. (Source)

Violence against women is caused by gender inequality, and it allows this inequality to continue.

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