The number of women viewed by police as victims of domestic abuse has soared by 20% in Tayside in just three years.
A Freedom Of Information request shows that in 2019 there were 3,232 “domestic abuse concern” reports filed for women in Tayside, compared with 2,642 two years prior.
Meanwhile, in Fife, there were 3,199 female victims in 2019 compared to 3,056 in 2017.
The figures for 2020 as of July show there have been 1,596 women recorded as victims in Tayside, with 369 men also identified.
Police Scotland logs people in a vulnerable persons database, which records interactions with adults and children who they believe are at risk.
In its response the force said officers proactively targeted domestic abusers before they did irreparable damage to their victims and families.
The police said: “Tackling domestic abuse is a priority for Police Scotland and we are committed to working with our partners to reduce the harm it causes and ultimately eradicate it.
“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 not tolerate it.
“Police Scotland will proactively target perpetrators and support victims to prevent domestic
abuse from damaging the lives of victims and their families.”
But, while the increase may appear troubling to some, Womans Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (Wrasac) said it showed that both victims and members of the public were now more committed to reporting abuse.
Heather Williams, manager of Wrasac, said: “From our point of view this increase just shows the growth in confidence with victims in reporting these issues to the police.
“But also there’s a real greater awareness among others in the community, whether that be neighbours or other family members, of the signs of abuse. It also shows that victims themselves are more aware of it.
“People have got the message that if they are receiving domestic abuse – whether that’s mental, physical or sexual – it’s not something that can be tolerated.
“And our message would be for people to continue to report it, and seek help if they are victims, especially during this time where it’s much more difficult to reach people.”
A spokeswoman for Scottish Women’s Aid said: “While these figures are distressing in and of themselves, we must always bear in mind that reports to police are merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to domestic abuse. We know that women are often reluctant to report for fear of what will happen to them and their children, so these numbers give us only a snapshot of the abuse actually unfolding across Scotland everyday.
“These statistics are a reminder that we have much more work to do when it comes to ending domestic abuse. It lies with all of us – police, judiciary, services, individuals and the Government – to change the landscape for women and children experiencing this daily fear, including those who never report it to the police.
“For anyone experiencing domestic abuse, or those concerned about someone else, help is always available from local women’s aid services and from Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline, available 24/7 on 0800 027 1234.”