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Publication - Statistics Publication

Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2014/15: Partner Abuse

Published: 17 May 2016
ISBN:
9781786522696

Results from the Partner Abuse module of the 2014/15 Scottish Crime and Justice Survey.

73 page PDF

1.1MB

73 page PDF

1.1MB

Contents
Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2014/15: Partner Abuse
Partner abuse in Scotland: Key Findings

73 page PDF

1.1MB

Partner abuse in Scotland: Key Findings

Partner abuse in Scotland

The risk of partner abuse

Partner abuse is commonly experienced on multiple occasions, over a long period of time. Over two-thirds (67.5%) of those who reported an incident of partner abuse in the last 12 months also reported at least one incident prior to this period. The risk of partner abuse varied by gender, age, access to money and deprivation, and other types of victimisation.

  • Overall, 14.1% of respondents had experienced partner abuse since the age of 16, and 2.9% of respondents had experienced partner abuse in the last 12 months. The risk of partner abuse in the last 12 months did not change between the 2012/13 and 2014/15 survey sweeps.
  • A higher proportion of women than men experienced partner abuse in the last 12 months, at 3.4% and 2.4% respectively.
  • However, a much higher proportion of women had experienced partner abuse (physical or psychological) since the age of 16 (18.5% of women, compared to 9.2% of men).
  • The risk of partner abuse (in the last 12 months) was highest amongst young people aged 16 to 24 years (6.9%) and lowest amongst those aged 65 or over (0.4%).
  • Nineteen per cent of respondents living in the 15% most deprived areas of Scotland had experienced partner abuse since the age of 16, compared to 13.2% of those living in the rest of Scotland.
  • Almost a quarter (22.5%) of respondents classified as victims of crime in the main SCJS survey had experienced partner abuse since the age of 16, compared to 12.6% of those who were not classified as victims.

Types of partner abuse

Victims experienced a range of abusive behaviours, both psychological and physical. Victims experienced psychological abuse more commonly than physical abuse.

  • On average, those who experienced partner abuse since the age of 16 reported around two different types of physical abuse, and around three different types of psychological abuse.
  • The most common types of psychological abuse among victims of partner abuse (since age 16) were having a partner behaving in a jealous or controlling way (7.6%), and being repeatedly put down by a partner (6.4%).
  • Among partner abuse victims since the age of 16, some types of psychological abuse were experienced by a higher proportion of women than men. For example, 59.0% of women experienced a partner behave in a jealous or controlling way, compared to 42.4% of men, whilst 53.7% of women were repeatedly put down by their partner, compared to 25.9% of men.
  • The most common types of physical abuse (since age 16) were being kicked or bitten (5.2%), being pushed or held down (5.0%), and having something thrown at you, with the intention of causing harm (4.7%).
  • Among partner abuse victims since the age of 16, women were more likely than men to experience physical abuse involving direct contact. For example, being pushed or held down (45.3% women, compared to 14.2% men); being choked, strangled or smothered (22.7% women, compared to 6.6% men) and forced intercourse (20.1% women, compared to 1.9% men).
  • Men were more likely than women to experience non-contact violence, specifically, having something thrown at them (40.1% and 30.7% respectively).

Relationships and children

For some victims, the impact of partner abuse extended to the wider family:

  • Around a third (33.5%) of those who had experienced partner abuse in the last 12 months were living with the abusive partner at the time of the most recent incident. Just under half (48.3%) of these respondents said that they were still living with the abusive partner at the time of the survey interview.
  • Two in five (39.4%) of those who experienced partner abuse in the last 12 months said that children were living in their household when the most recent incident took place.
  • Where children were present, nearly two thirds (63.7%) said that the children were present (in or around the house or close by) during the most recent incident.

Impact of partner of abuse

The impact of partner abuse was wide-ranging. Overall, psychological effects were reported more commonly than physical effects. However, not all respondents who experienced partner abuse considered themselves to be a victim. Respondents were more likely to view physical abuse as a crime, compared to psychological abuse. Of those who experienced partner abuse in the last 12 months:

  • Around two-thirds (65.2%) reported at least one psychological effect, and 39.6% reported at least one physical effect.
  • The most common psychological effect was low self-esteem, reported by 37.4% of victims. A higher proportion of women than men experienced low self-esteem, at 44.5%, and 27.2% respectively.
  • Two in five (40.5%) reported two or more psychological effects, whilst one in five (21.9%) reported four or more effects.
  • A higher proportion of women than men experienced four or more psychological effects, at 31.1% and 8.8%, respectively.
  • The most common physical impacts were; minor bruising or black eyes (21.6%); scratches or minor cuts (15.2%); and severe bruising (8.5%).

Perceptions of partner abuse

  • Around a third (32.5%) viewed their experiences of physical abuse (in the last 12 months) as a crime, compared to 17.9% who viewed their experiences of psychological abuse as a crime.
  • Just under half (46.3%) of those who had experienced at least one incident of psychological or physical partner abuse since age 16 considered themselves to be a victim of domestic abuse. This proportion was higher amongst women at 56.9%, compared to men at 22.9%.
  • While 7.9% of respondents considered themselves to have been a victim of domestic abuse since age 16, this was lower than the proportion that reported incidents of partner abuse in the same period (14.1%).

Reporting partner abuse

Respondents were more likely to tell people from their informal networks about their experiences of abuse, than professionals. Of those who experienced partner abuse in the last 12 months:

  • Two thirds (62.8%) had told at least one person or organisation about their most recent (or only) experience of abuse.
  • One third (35.1%) told friends and one fifth (18.5%) told relatives about their experiences. A further 13.8% told a doctor, and 11.6% told the police.
  • One fifth (19.5%) said that the police came to know about the most recent (or only) incident of partner abuse.
  • A quarter (28.0%) of those who experienced partner abuse in the last 12 months appeared to have had told no one about the abuse.
  • Men were more likely than women to have told no one about their experiences of abuse (35.0%, compared men, compared with 23.1% respectively).

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