Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain KC Offers Message of Support to Victims of Domestic Abuse

Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain KC today reached out to victims of domestic abuse with a personal message of support and renewed her commitment to tackling the crime effectively.

The senior law officer spoke of her understanding that the festive holiday period can be particularly difficult for women living in fear of a partner or ex-partner.  

As the independent head of the prosecution service, the Lord Advocate expressed her concern for those women and children who find themselves especially vulnerable at this time of year. 

And she pledged the determination of Scotland’s prosecutors to use every legal tool available to pursue justice on their behalf, should they become victim of criminal behaviour. 

Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain KC said: 

“For most of us, the Christmas and New Year holidays are opportunities to enjoy happy times with our families. 

“But for far too many women in Scotland, the prospect of an extended period at home with an abusive partner is truly terrifying.   

“Some will dread the long break from work and the cold nights trapped indoors because their home is not the safe place it should be.   

“Over December 2021 and January 2022, COPFS received 5543 reports of Domestic Abuse charges. 

“It is a stark and undeniable fact that the vast majority of these reports feature a male accused.  These accounted for 87 percent of all charges with a domestic abuse identifier last year. 

“Domestic abuse often occurs in places we consider private but it is no less a blight on our entire society, damaging the lives of the women and children who experience it.  

“Changing the culture which has allowed this to go on is one of the challenges of our times.   

“Prosecutors are committed to playing our part by delivering justice for victims.  Last year, some 93 percent of charges received relating to domestic abuse proceeded to court. 

“Domestic abuse, violence or coercive control should not be part of anyone’s daily experience, at any time of the year. 

“It is always intolerable, no matter the pressures we may be under or the perceived intensity of our relationships. 

“The pressures of the festive season, the consumption of alcohol or the result of any football match provides no excuse for what is entirely inexcusable.  I urge any victim or witness to any form of domestic abuse to report it.  You will be listened to. You will be taken seriously.   

“We will continue to strive for a Scotland free from this blight, where a safe, peaceful festive period can be enjoyed by all.”