Violence against Women

Violence against women and girls can have an immediate and long lasting impact causing damage to health, wellbeing and limiting freedom.


What is Violence against women?

Violence against women and girls is mainly perpetrated by men. These crimes and abusive behaviours include:

  • Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring in the family (including children and young people), within the general community or in institutions, including domestic abuse, rape and incest.
  • Sexual harassment, bullying and intimidation in any public or private space including work.
  • Commercial sexual exploitation including prostitution, lap dancing, stripping, pornography and trafficking.
  • Child sexual abuse including familial sexual abuse, child sexual exploitation and online abuse.
  • So called ‘honour based’ violence including dowry related violence, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, child marriage and ‘honour’ crimes.


What are we doing to prevent violence against women?

Primary prevention - This focus aims to change behaviour, build knowledge and skills of individuals and ultimately affect a shift in attitudes in the structural, cultural and societal contexts where violence and abuse occurs. Adopting this approach challenges the notion that violence against women and girls is inevitable; attitudes that condone and excuse violence against women allows perpetrators to deny what they do and blame the victims.

Secondary prevention – This focus aims to prevent violence and abuse from recurring.

Tertiary prevention - This focus aims to reduce the impact of violence and abuse after it occurs.


If you are in immediate danger or require an emergency service please call Police Scotland on 999 (or 101 for non-emergencies).