Page last updated at 11:53 GMT, Monday, 8 December 2008

Festive blitz on domestic abuse

domestic violence
Officers will make proactive visits to people deemed at risk

Scotland's police forces have launched a crackdown on domestic violence over the festive period.

Rapid response units and tougher enforcement of bail conditions will be among the measures used.

Officers will also make visits to households where suspected offenders are banned over Christmas when there can often be an increase in incidents.

The six-week campaign comes after figures revealed a rise in the number of domestic abuse cases in Scotland.

There were 49,655 domestic abuse incidents recorded in Scotland in 2007-08, which is up 2% on the previous year.

One in five women in Scotland will be affected by domestic abuse at some point in their life, according to the charity, Scottish Women's Aid.

Domestic abuse is Scotland's national shame, a shame which arguably lies at the core of a culture within which violence is often, unfortunately, seen by many as a behavioural norm
Ch Insp Cameron Cavin
Violence Reduction Unit
The national Violence Reduction Unit will run the campaign from 8 December to 18 January.

Anti-Violence co-ordinator, Ch Insp Cameron Cavin, said: "Domestic abuse is Scotland's national shame, a shame which arguably lies at the core of a culture within which violence is often, unfortunately, seen by many as a behavioural norm.

"The damage domestic abuse causes to a victim, be it physical or emotional, can be irreparable.

"The need to dominate or control a partner is rarely a one-off event and we know victims will often suffer repeat attacks before seeking help.

"This kind of abuse can also impact on other family members, in particular children, and render them within their crucial early years development, vulnerable to accepting such behaviour as normal and carrying these values into later life."

Communities Minister Stewart Maxwell said the Scottish Government was investing 44m to address the issue of violence against women.

He said: "I welcome this crackdown by police, particularly over Christmas, a time when many families are affected by this despicable crime."

The domestic abuse scheme is part of the Scottish Police Service's anti-violence campaign.

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SEE ALSO
Increase in domestic abuse cases
25 Nov 08 |  Scotland
Seeking help for victims of abuse
10 May 08 |  Scotland
Five-year crackdown on violence
06 May 08 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife

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