COPFS corporate

Domestic Abuse and Stalking charges in Scotland, 2021-22

An Official Statistics publication for Scotland

A report on Domestic Abuse and Stalking charges in Scotland 2021-22 was published today. This provides information on charges reported to the Procurator Fiscal and identified as relating to Domestic Abuse. It includes information on charges under section 1 of the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018, following the implementation of this legislation on 1 April 2019.

The main findings are: 

  • In 2021-22, 32,776 charges were reported to COPFS with a domestic abuse identifier. This is a decrease of 1.9% compared to the 2020-21 total of 33,425. 


  • The vast majority of charges identified as being related to domestic abuse are prosecuted. An initial decision was made to proceed to court with 93 percent of charges in 2021-22. 


  • The most common types of offences reported in 2021-22 with a domestic abuse identifier were threatening and abusive behaviour offences (28%), common assault (25%) and crimes against public justice (23%, includes bail offences). 


  • The Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 came into force on 1st April 2019, creating a new statutory offence of engaging in a course of behaviour which is abusive of a partner or ex-partner. In 2021-22, 1,790 charges were reported under this legislation, accounting for 5.5% of all domestic abuse charges reported. This represents an increase of 13% on the 2020-21 total of 1,581 (4.7% of all domestic abuse charges reported in that year). 


  • In 2021-22, 1010 stalking charges under section 39 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 were reported to COPF. Of these, 571 (57 percent) were identified as domestic abuse.