Domestic violence in Scotland rose during the festive season. In December alone the police’s Violence Reduction Unit logged 4,783 incidents. Although most victims of domestic abuse are women, it can happen to anyone and affects everyone within the family; women, children and men. Domestic abuse is very costly not only in terms of psychological harm and loss of self esteem, but also in terms of health service costs, police resources, legal costs and productivity due to absence from work. The Kirk has had a long tradition of highlighting social issues that might lead to domestic abuse and I have writen about the victim’s need for legal aid through this blog.
Over the past year, Scotland has invested heavily in combatting homelessness for victims of sexual abuse, and raising awareness of that fact that males can also be victims of domestic abuse. It is therefore somewhat disappointing, given the statistics and the work of the past year, that £7.5 million of direct funding from the Scottish Government to tackle frontline services in domestic abuse, might be scrapped. It is difficult to find the justification for cuts that will affect services that are supporting the most vulnerable within our society. Is this a case of false economy?