9 November 2015

Stevenson Highlights Rise of Domestic Abuse in the North East

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, has highlighted the significant increase in domestic abuse incidents reported in Aberdeenshire this year.

At the Scottish Parliament last Thursday, Mr Stevenson asked Justice Secretary Michael Matheson what was being done to address the number of domestic abuse incidents in Aberdeenshire - which have gone up by more than 25 per cent - in comparison with a rise of 2.5 per cent across the rest of the country.

Mr Matheson said that the government was working with the third sector to tackle the issue and was investing over £700,000 in north-east services to support the women and children affected.

He added that the Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Bill and a planned consultation on the specific offence of domestic abuse would seek to strengthen the law in this area.

But Mr Stevenson added that despite the investment, there was a significant problem regarding the number of domestic abuse convictions – as almost half of incidents reported do not result in anyone being brought to justice.

Mr Matheson said that the Scottish Government were clear that there was no excuse for domestic abuse and that Police Scotland and the Crown Office were also focused on improving the current situation.

Mr Stevenson said:

“I believe there is a lot more work to be done in this area. While I am delighted that more people feel that they can report incidents of domestic abuse - whether they are happening in the present day or are historic - I would like to see the conviction rate rise, so that there is justice for those that suffer in this way.”

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