Women 'more likely to report abuse'

Women are more likely to report abuse at the hands of their partner despite the risk of harm for men and women being the same, a study suggests.

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It also found only a minority of people defined the experience as a crime, with just under half who reported psychological or physical abuse considering themselves a victim of domestic abuse.

Official statistics revealed the prevalence of partner abuse experienced within the last 12 months was equal for men and women at 3%.

However, 17% of women reported abuse since the age of 16, compared to 10% of men.

Women were also found to experience a range of psychological effects as a result of abuse, with 47% reporting emotional problems, compared to 29% of men

The findings, contained in the latest Scottish Crime and Justice Survey, did show that men are more likely to report experiencing scratches or minor cuts over the 12-month period.

In a third of instances where partner abuse was experienced in the last year, children were living in the household when the most recent incident took place.

The risk of partner abuse over the same period decreased with age, from 5% for 16 to 24-year-olds to less than 1% for those aged 65 and over.

Respondents living in the most deprived areas of Scotland were more likely than those in the rest of the country to report experiences of partner abuse over the same period.

The main survey is based on 12,045 face-to-face interviews carried out in in private households, with 85% of respondents completing a questionnaire on more sensitive issues, including partner abuse and stalking.

It found 64% of those who had experienced partner abuse within the last 12 months had told at least one person or organisation about their most recent experience, but only 21% said police knew about it.

The report found almost two-thirds who were abused between April 2012 and March 2013 had been abused before by a partner.

Although 3% of adults reported partner abuse over the course of a year, 14% said they had experienced psychological or physical abuse since they were 16.

Just 48% of those who reported psychological or physical abuse at some point since they were 16 thought they were a victim of domestic abuse.

Defining the abuse as a crime was more common when it was physical (31%) compared to psychological (24%) and when the victim was female.

There were also gender differences in the types of abuse experienced since they were 16, with 24% of women having had a partner choke or attempt to strangle or smother them compared to 3% of men.

In total, 70% of respondents who had experienced partner abuse since they were 16, reported only having had one abusive partner.


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