As more people are isolated during the coronavirus pandemic, the charity Crimestoppers Scotland is launching a new campaign across the country appealing for information from people who are aware of domestic abuse happening to friends, family, work colleagues or neighbours.
Domestic abuse can be physical, psychological, emotional, sexual or financial.
Often neighbours, family and friends may be suspicious, but are reluctant to get involved because of embarrassment, split loyalties or fear of revenge.
In 2017-2018 there were 59,541 incidents of domestic abuse recorded by Police Scotland. Women made up 82% of the victims.
As an independent charity who has helped millions of people over the years, Crimestoppers is asking those with concerns to pass on what they know whilst staying 100% anonymous.
Angela Parker, national manager for charity Crimestoppers Scotland, said: “With the Covid-19 pandemic forcing people to stay in their homes, our fear is that rates of domestic violence will rise.
“This is a serious crime that leaves victims feeling trapped, alone and powerless. They are often too scared or vulnerable to seek help or speak out.
“To be isolated during this lockdown in an abusive household must be terrifying, and you must feel so alone, that there is no one to help you.
“This is where we as a community can step forward. Often in cases of domestic abuse, the community knows something, but struggles to know what to do to help.
“You can contact us here at Crimestoppers, we will take your information and pass it on, and no one will ever know you called.
Our charity’s UK contact centre is open 24/7 on freephone 0800 555 111 or visit our website crimestoppers-uk.org and fill in our simple and secure anonymous online form.”
Minister for Older People and Equalities, Christina McKelvie said: ‘During this time we have all been asked to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. And so home has become somewhere where we are seeking safety, reassurance and comfort.
“But unfortunately for many people, home is not a safe haven. It is a place of threat and harm both physical and mental.
“Those suffering domestic abuse, including coercive and controlling behaviours, can feel isolated and vulnerable, unheard and unseen.
“This is why we ask that people come together with the community spirit that we have seen during this difficult time to help our neighbours, family and friends whose lives may be impacted by this violence and abuse.”