Dundee has one of the highest incidence rates for domestic violence in the country, according to new figures.
There were 2,103 incidents recorded by police in Dundee in 2017-18, or 141 per 10,000 people. The national average was 110 incidents per 10,000 people.
The city was behind only West Dunbartonshire, which recorded 153 incidents for every 10,000 residents, and Glasgow, which recorded 143 per 10,000.
Nationally, police recorded 59,541 domestic abuse cases in 2017-18, an annual increase of 1%.
Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf described the figures as sobering, and said: “As a society we must work collectively to reduce this number – making clear that such behaviour is unacceptable.
“This includes educating young people about healthy, positive relationships and challenging those who minimise the impact of abuse or gender-based violence.”
However, the average incidence rate in Dundee has fallen by 17% in the last few years while the national average has remained steady – indicating that work to reduce domestic violence in the city is having an effect.
The figures were released during the first week of the annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, a global initiative calling for an end to violence against women and girls around the world.
Shaista Ali is an activist and paralegal for Thorntons Solicitors in Dundee.
Every year for 16 Days of Activism the 28-year-old hosts an Instagram campaign encouraging people to speak out against violence.
Shaista, who grew up in Coldside and now lives in Broughty Ferry, said: “The purpose behind the campaign was to showcase to people that violence against women is prevalent in every country. It is not specific to one region or country but affects more than half of the world’s population.
“Reporting is key to tackling abuse but I can understand a lot of women are afraid to report for fear of safety.
“I would always advise women to monitor behaviour at home. Abuse can be coercive control by a partner, so reporting these instances is important. Charities and women’s aid groups are doing a great job in supporting victims of abuse and helping to empower women.
“Particularly in Dundee, more preventative measures such as education in schools is necessary, focusing on what it means to be in a healthy relationship, what controlling behaviour looks like, harassment via social media.
“We are facing all kinds of challenges now with social media, so awareness through schools is a step forward for shaping young people into becoming adults with a more positive mindset and outlook on violence.”