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Information and support for anyone experiencing or working with domestic abuse and gender-based violence.

This website aims to:

  • Support anyone who is experiencing or at risk of violence / abuse by providing information and contact details for local and national services that can help.
  • Change attitudes towards Domestic Abuse and Gender Based Violence which will encourage changed behaviour.
  • Provide a comprehensive information resource for professionals working in the fields of Domestic Abuse and Gender Based Violence in Shetland.

Domestic Abuse

  • What is Domestic Abuse?

    Domestic abuse can affect anyone. Police Scotland works to a nationally agreed definition of domestic abuse adopted by the Crown Office Procurator Fiscal Service.

    'Domestic Abuse is any form of physical, verbal, sexual, psychological or financial abuse which might amount to criminal conduct, and which takes place within the context of a relationship'

    The relationship will be between partners (married, cohabiting, civil partnership or otherwise) or ex-partners. The abuse can be committed in the home or elsewhere.

    Wolf In My Home HD1080p
    Wolf In My Home HD1080p
  • Types of Domestic Abuse

    Physical Abuse includes:

    All types of assault and physical attacks like hitting (including with objects), punching, kicking and burning, strangling or choking, sleep deprevation and exhaustion, tampering with medication and controlling food intake.

    Sexual Abuse includes:

    Rape or sexual assault, forcing you to have sexual intercourse or forcing you to engage in sexual acts without your consent. stealthing, forced kissing, touching or penetration, intimate image abuse and forcing you into commercial sexual exploitation.

    Psychological and Emotional Abuse includes:

    Threats (including threats of violence); criticism and name calling; controlling what you do, where you go and who you speak to (coercive control); threatening your children, isolating you from friends and family; accusing you of being unfaithful; threatening to 'out' your sexual orientation to family, friends or work or to reveal your HIV/AIDS status.

    Financial and Economic Abuse includes:

    Controlling the household income and keeping financial information from you, taking out debts in your name with our without your knowledge, prohibiting you from carrying out any paid work or taking part in education or training.

    Sexual harrassment and Stalking includes:

    Cyber stalking, using antisocial behaviour, sending abusive test messages and gifts, phonecalls, letters and emails, regularly following, watching or spying on you, repeatedly turning up at your home, checking your internet use, email or other electronic communication.

    Digital and online Abuse includes:

    Monitoring your social media, accessing your phone, email and social media accounts, accessing your online banking, prohibiting access to technology, such as a phone, or internet access, sharing intimate photos of you online. If you have experienced this type of abuse, the Revenge Porn Helpline can support you.

    Honour based abuse includes:

    Forced marriage or abortions, domestic and sexual violence including murder, strict monotiring over your use of phone, internet or finances, isolation from friends and family, (FGM) Female Genital Mutilation. Shakti Women's Aid can help black minotiry, ethnic (BME) women, children and young people who are experiencing or have experieced domestic abuse..

  • Coercive Control and the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018

    If your Partner is Controlling you it's Domestic Abuse

    Domestic Abuse Coercive and Controlling Behaviour
    Scottish Government
    Domestic Abuse Coercive and Controlling Behaviour

    The law now recognises psychological harm, as well as physical harm, as an offence. From 1st April 2019 the new Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 allows the police and courts to charge someone for a single offence of domestic abuse, covering both physical abuse and psychological abuse/controlling and coercive behaviour.

    Coercive and controlling behaviour is a pattern of conduct which undermines the victim’s independence and might include restricting mobile phone usage, controlling bank account access, dictating outfit choices, meal times or friendships.

    It can happen to anyone in an intimate relationship. You don’t need to live with your partner to experience domestic abuse.

    It’s important to talk to someone if you think you are experiencing domestic abuse. If you’re not ready to report it, you can still seek support.

    For more information on domestic abuse, how to get help and how to report it visit safer.scot.

    If your partner is controlling you it’s domestic abuse. To speak in confidence call Scotland’s Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0800 027 1234

Gender Based Violence

  • What is Gender Based Violence?

    Gender based violence is violence directed against a person because of their gender. Women and girls are primarily at higher risk of violence because of their gender. Children of all genders are also subject to harm through violence. This does not exclude violence against adult men, but rather recognises that women and girls are likely to be affected disproportionately. Many men and boys are also victims of violence, and this violence remains predominantly perpetrated by men, though not exclusively so.

    Elected Members Briefing Note Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls: What about the Men? highlighting the inequality of outcomes that other men and women experience as a result of their gender, raising awareness of good practice and exploring the key role that men can play in preventing and challenging VAWG.

  • What is Violence Against Women and Girls? (VAWG)

    The phrase violence against women and girls is used to describe violent and abusive behaviour directed at women and girls because they are women and girls. It is behaviour which is carried out predominantly by men. It is an abuse of power and stems from systemic, deep-rooted women’s inequality. VAWG limits women’s and girls’ freedom and potential and is a fundamental violation of human rights.

    Our shared understanding defines VAWG as a form of gender-based violence (GBV). GBV is defined as “any form of violence used to establish, enforce or perpetuate gender inequalities and keep in place gendered orders”. While the terms VAWG and GBV are sometimes used interchangeably, VAWG is a subset of GBV specifically targeting women and girls due to their unequal status in society.

    “Such violence cannot be understood in isolation from the norms, social structure and gender roles within the community which greatly influence women’s risk of VAWG.

    (Scottish Definition of VAWG)

  • Types of Gender Based Violence

Shetland Women's Aid

Telephone: (01595) 692070

Email: [email protected]

Phone calls/texts will be answered as soon as possible – generally staff will be available 9-4 every weekday.

Scotland's Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage 24 Hour Helpline Telephone: 0800 027 1234

Safe2Speak Telephone: 01744 743 200

In an emergency please do not hesitate to call the Police on 999.

Shetland Rape Crisis

Telephone: (01595) 747174

Email: [email protected]

For phone support call Rape Crisis Scotland’s free and confidential helpline 5pm - midnight every night:
08088 01 03 02

For self-help resources see:

In an emergency please do not hesitate to call the Police on 999.

Over 100 cases of domestic abuse take place in Shetland every year. There were 64,807 cases recorded in Scotland from 2021-22 - where gender information was recorded every 4 in 5 incidents of domestic abuse involved a female victim and a male suspected perpetrator. Domestic Abuse affects people across our community regardless of sex, race, age, religion, sexuality, income or lifestyle.


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