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Scotland's Chief Statistician has recently published statistics revealing the extent of partner abuse in Scotland.
The report focuses specifically on abuse carried out by a partner or ex-partner. The definition of partner includes any boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife or civil partner. Partner abuse includes psychological and physical forms of abuse. The definition of psychological abuse includes emotional, financial and other forms of psychological abuse. The definition of physical abuse includes sexual and other forms of physical abuse.
The statistics reveal that:
- Around 16% of adults who had at least one partner since the age of 16 had experienced partner abuse since the age of 16.
- A similar percentage of males and females experienced partner abuse in the last 12 months although the types of abuse experienced and the effects of the abuse were very often different for men and women. Partner abuse was more likely to be experienced by those aged 16-24 than older age groups.
- Around 13% of adults who had a partner since the age of 16 said they had experienced psychological abuse since that age. A higher percentage of women (17%) said they had experienced at least one form of psychological abuse compared with men (10%) since the age of 16. On average women had experienced between three and four forms of psychological abuse while men had experienced around two of the forms of psychological abuse.
- The main types of psychological abuse included a partner behaving in a jealous or controlling way (9% of adults had experienced this since the age of 16); repeatedly putting the victim down so they felt worthless (7%); threatening to hurt the victim (5%) or stopping the victim from seeing friends or relatives (5%).
- Around 12% of those experiencing partner abuse since the age of 16 said they experienced physical abuse. A higher percentage of women had experienced any physical partner abuse (14%) than men (10%).
- The abusive partner was male in 61% of partner abuse experienced since the age of 16 compared with 37% where the gender of the abusive partner was female.
- Around 29% of adults who experienced physical abuse in the last 12 months considered what happened on the most recent occasion to be a crime, 23% said it was wrong but not a crime and 24% said their experience was just something that happens.
- Around 8% of adults who had a partner since the age of 16 considered they had been a victim of domestic abuse since that age, lower than the 16% who said they had experienced at least one form of psychological or physical abuse as measured by the survey. Women (12%) were more likely to consider themselves to have been a victim of domestic abuse than men (3%).
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