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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S5W-36210
Asked by: Michelle Ballantyne, South Scotland, Reform UK
Date lodged: 11 March 2021

Question

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will conduct an investigation into the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions on domestic abuse rates.

Current status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 24 March 2021


Answer

The Scottish Government has for some time been examining how the coronavirus pandemic has affected the justice system, including information about incidents of domestic abuse reported to police, and introduced a series of monthly data reports from June 2020. The Scottish Government also published reports in June, September, and November 2020, which explored the impact of COVID-19 on people experiencing domestic abuse and other forms of violence against women and girls. Further research expected in Spring 2022, in relation to the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018, will include questions which will offer an opportunity to capture information about the impact of COVID-19 on the experiences of victims and witnesses of court.

Absolutely no one should have to suffer domestic abuse and it is deeply concerning that services have reported an increase in referrals during the pandemic. Police Scotland’s recovery planning has been underway throughout the crisis and responding to domestic abuse has remained a priority during the pandemic. To ensure frontline services can meet demand the Scottish Government has allocated an additional £5.75 million to support organisations such as Scottish Women’s Aid and Rape Crisis Scotland. We continue to work with justice partners and victims organisations to fully understand the impact of COVID-19 on domestic abuse and other forms of violence against women and girls.