The number of incidents of domestic abuse has rocketed by almost 100 during lockdown, when compared with the same period last year.
The figures emerged as a women’s welfare charity raised concerns the pandemic has given abusers more power and prevented some victims from coming forward.
According to statistics obtained by the Tele through a Freedom of Information request, there were 494 incidents dealt with by police in May, compared to 396 the year prior.
Of these incidents, 242 – almost half – were in Dundee, 133 in Perth and Kinross, and 119 in Angus.
Meanwhile, there were 874 incidents of domestic abuse reported to Police Scotland’s Tayside division in total for April and May in lockdown.
In total, there were 380 reports of domestic abuse across Tayside in April, including 190 in Dundee, 117 in Perth and Kinross, and 73 in Angus.
This was a reduction of 46 when compared with the same month last year.
Police Scotland have said tackling domestic abuse is a priority, and will not be tolerated in Tayside.
In a statement, the police said: “Domestic abuse is a despicable and debilitating crime which affects all of our communities and has no respect for ability, age, ethnicity, gender, race, religion or sexual orientation.
“Police Scotland will proactively target perpetrators and support victims to prevent domestic abuse from damaging the lives of victims and their families.”
Scottish Women’s Aid said it was concerned that many victims may find it more difficult to reach out for help and support during the coronavirus lockdown.
A spokeswoman for the charity said: “Covid-19 and stress about the pandemic is not causing domestic abuse – domestic abuse is an abuser’s choice, always.
“However, lockdown and associated measures have given abusers more tools to control, isolate and harm women, children and young people.
“Increase surveillance by abusers at this time is making it harder for women to reach out to women’s aid and children and young people do not have their safe spaces like school, nursery or after school clubs to reach out to trusted adults for support.
“Domestic abuse has not taken a break for the pandemic – but neither have we.
“Our 36 local women’s aid groups have radically redesigned their services so that they can continue to provide support at this time.
“Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline has also remained fully operational 24/7 and our colleagues at Police Scotland have assured us that they are responding robustly to domestic abuse during the pandemic.
“We would encourage anyone looking for support around domestic abuse to reach out to their local women’s aid group or to contact Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline on 0800 027 1234.
“If it’s not safe to speak out loud, you can also contact the helpline via web chat and email at www.sdafmh.org.uk
“We are here for anyone experiencing domestic abuse and our message is this: you are not alone.”
Dundee Women’s Aid can be contacted on 01382 207099.