GR Direct - Sony - Save up to £300 on selected Bravia OLED & LED TVs
Monday 27 May 2024
 10.8°C   ESE Gentle Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Community / Greater awareness linked to sharp rise in reports of domestic abuse, meeting hears

Photo by Laura Dodsworth as part of the 'one thousand words' project by Zero Tolerance and Scottish Women's Aid.

INCREASED awareness is a key reason why the number of domestic abuse cases recorded in Shetland has nearly tripled compared to last year, the isles’ community safety and resilience board heard on Thursday.

Figures presented to members of the board showed that there were 56 instances of domestic abuse reported between April and September this year compared to 20 in the same period in 2018.

Police chief inspector Lindsay Tulloch described it as “reassuring” that more domestic abuse cases were being reported and brought to the attention of officers.

He noted that while the figures have sharply increased, it does not mean to say that domestic abuse has generally increased at the same rate as many cases could relate to abuse carried out in the past.

“There might be historical offences,” Tulloch said.

The police chief added that an important focus is getting to the bottom of the source of offending and “understand how these issues manifest in the first place”.

South mainland councillor Allison Duncan said the numbers were a “substantial increase”, and he questioned why the figures had risen so much.

NHS Shetland consultant in public health medicine Susan Laidlaw, who is involved with the Shetland Domestic Abuse Partnership, said there was a variety of reasons but she noted “there’s been a lot more awareness raising” recently.

She said the introduction of new legislation in Scotlandearlier this year extending the reach of domestic abuse law to include coercive and controlling behaviour has had a “significant effect” on awareness on what constitutes domestic offending.

Laidlaw also said that interest in the subject from the media as well as local campaigns has promoted a greater understanding on domestic abuse.

Shetland Women’s Aid and the local Rape Crisis branch both welcomed the introduction of the new law and the two organisations continue efforts to raise awareness.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

 

“If it’s happening, if we can get in earlier with interventions, that’s better,” Laidlaw said.

Board chairman councillor Alastair Cooper said a concern of his was the reducing budgets of third sector organisations that assist in areas like domestic abuse.

“It’s a struggle more and more with funding in all directions,” he warned – pointing also to the budgets of the likes of NHS Shetland and Shetland Islands Council.

Laidlaw said that having to rely on recurring funding could be troubling for Women’s Aid and Shetland Rape Crisis.

“They do really struggle for funding, and I think it will be an ongoing battle,” she said.

Cooper said he was pleased to see awareness of domestic abuse being raised in the isles.

“As a community I think we need to be very aware it does go on around on us,” he added.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.

 

Newsletters

Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.