Support if you’re affected by domestic abuse
Domestic Abuse can be physical, emotional, sexual or financial abuse of one person by another with whom the person is or has had a relationship with. Domestic abuse also affects children.
Physical Abuse can include slapping, punching, hitting, kicking and threats with weapons.
Emotional Abuse includes name calling, intimidation, humiliation, mind games, threats, degradation or being isolated from family and friends.
Sexual Abuse including rape.
Financial Abuse is being forced to borrow money and/or make fraudulent claims, being forced to go without essentials, money being withheld or having to account for spending with receipts etc.
Using the Law
If your partner or ex-partner is abusing or harassing you or your children, you can use the law to protect yourself. If you choose to use the law, it is useful to have as much evidence as possible about what your partner/ex-partner is doing.
This evidence can be text messages received, calls to the police – by you or someone else – that will have been recorded, accounts from witnesses and any medical records from your GP or dentist. To get legal protection you have to apply to the court.
There are three main types of legal action that can be used:
- An Exclusion Order is a court order that suspends the right of a married person, civil partner or cohabitee to live in the family home.
- An Interdict is a court order that bans someone from specific behaviour such as threatening or assaulting you.
- A Non – Harassment Order is a court order which can be used against your partner/ex-partner, their family or any third party behaving in a way that frightens you or causes you distress.
The law can be quite complex so you could ask Women’s Aid for help. They can tell you how to find a solicitor who is experienced in family law, and give you information about what to expect. They may also be able to accompany you to appointments.
If you are in imminent danger call the police from a landline or mobile on 112.
Draw up a safety plan for you and your child in case you have to leave home in a hurry.
- Put emergency contact numbers on your mobile phone.
- Have a bag ready with some clothes, ID, (passport, driving licence, birth certificates), medication, some cash and benefit/tax credit paperwork.
- Agree with a friend or relative that you can go to them.
Scottish Womens Aid
Domestic Abuse Helpline 0800 027 1234
Abused Men in Scotland
Helpline 0808 800 0024