Prevalence data and victim surveys
Between 2000 and 2010, the number of domestic abuse incidents coming to the attention of the police in Scotland increased by around 50%, rising from 36,000 recorded incidents in 2000-01 to just under 52,000 in 2009-2010.189 Since 2011-12, the figures have stabilised at around 58,000 to 60,000 incidents per year.
Levels of domestic abuse recorded by the police in Scotland have remained relatively stable since 2011-12, with around 58,000 to 61,000 incidents a year. The police recorded 60,641 incidents of domestic abuse in 2018-19, an increase of 2% compared to the previous year. Four out of every five incidents of domestic abuse in 2018-19 had a female victim and a male accused.
But note that most incidents of domestic abuse go unreported to the police. The 2016/18 Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (SCJS) found that just a fifth (19.2%) of those who experienced partner abuse in the last 12 months stated that the police came to know about the most recent incident.
For further information: Partner abuse in Scotland crime and victimization survey
Overall, 15.6% of respondents reported experiencing at least one form of partner abuse, either psychological or physical, since the age of 16. This is an increase on the 2014/15 figure (14.1%).
Costs of domestic violence
Scottish Government estimates, based on a study in England, found that domestic abuse costs the Scottish public purse £2.3 billion while violence against women and girls costs Scotland £4 billion.
Age distribution of domestic violence
In 2018-19, the 26 to 30-year-old age group had the highest rate per 10,000 population for victims (263 incidents recorded per 10,000 population). In the same year, female victims aged 26 to 30 had the highest rate (446) of incidents of domestic abuse recorded by the police per 10,000 population. For those accused, the 31-35 years old age group had the highest incident rate (246 incidents recorded per 10,000 population).