Shame over abuse cases

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Dou­glas Dickie

Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang have been named as the worst area in South La­nark­shire for do­mes­tic abuse.

Po­lice Scot­land fig­ures for 2014/15 show house­holds in the town are 31 per cent more likely to suf­fer an in­ci­dent.

Hor­ri­fy­ing fig­ures have shown Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang to be the worst place in South La­nark­shire for do­mes­tic abuse.

Po­lice Scot­land fig­ures for 2014/15 show house­holds in the town are 31 per cent more likely to suf­fer a do­mes­tic abuse in­ci­dent than the rest of the re­gion.

And 14 peo­ple in ev­ery 1000 will ex­pe­ri­ence do­mes­tic abuse, com­pared with the South La­nark­shire av­er­age of 10.

Us­ing 2013 pop­u­la­tion statis­tics, that would mean around 804 in­ci­dents ev­ery year, or more than two each day.

A shock­ing 31.8 out of ev­ery 1000 dwellings in the Ruther­glen Cen­tral and North coun­cil ward will ex­pe­ri­ence an in­ci­dent.

The fig­ure in Cam­bus­lang West was 28.8, while Cam­bus­lang East recorded 26.9 in­ci­dents per 1000 dwellings.

Ruther­glen South was the low­est coun­cil ward but it still recorded a fig­ure of 21 - above the re­gional av­er­age.

Women’s Aid South La­nark­shire and East Ren­frew­shire this week told the Re­former they sup­ported 2177 women in 2014/15, 1766 of whom were from South La­nark­shire.

But CEO Heather Rus­sell warned against a ge­og­ra­phy-based fo­cus on the is­sue: “Whilst th­ese fig­ures pro­vide a stark illustration of the chal­lenge we face in work­ing to elim­i­nate do­mes­tic abuse, it would be mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the is­sue to fo­cus on the ge­og­ra­phy of in­ci­dents.

“Do­mes­tic abuse is not bound to any in­ferred so­cial class from ge­o­graph­i­cal lo­ca­tion, but is a con­se­quence of en­gen­dered in­equal­ity.

“Hav­ing pro­vided a ser­vice in th­ese lo­cal­i­ties for over 30 years and sup­ported thou­sands of women, chil­dren and young peo­ple who have ex­pe­ri­enced do­mes­tic abuse, we be­lieve th­ese fig­ures fall short of il­lus­trat­ing a true pic­ture.

“They do how­ever in­di­cate the scale of the is­sue and de­mand for our ser­vices.

“Our ex­pe­ri­ence in sup­port­ing women and fam­i­lies tells us that bar­ri­ers to re­port­ing do­mes­tic abuse re­main.

“Un­der­stand­ing those bar­ri­ers is key to en­abling women to seek emo­tional, prac­ti­cal and financial sup­port where ever they re­side and from which ever back ground they come.”

South La­nark­shire Coun­cil run their own sup­port ser­vice for vic­tims of do­mes­tic abuse called Doorstep.

Jus­tice ser­vices Man­ager Malcolm McAu­lay said: “Vi­o­lence of any kind is un­ac­cept­able and it is es­sen­tial to take a joint ap­proach in tack­ling and ad­dress­ing its many forms. If any in­di­vid­ual is af­fected by Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence, they can con­tact So­cial work Resources, who will pro­vide them with ap­pro­pri­ate sup­port or sign post then to an ap­pro­pri­ate part­ner agency.

“Where an in­di­vid­ual has been to court, found guilty and given a has been given a Com­mu­nity Dis­posal, jus­tice ser­vices work with the in­di­vid­ual to ad­dress and change their be­hav­iour.”

James Kelly MSP de­scribed the fig­ures as “alarm­ing,” adding: “Un­for­tu­nately, the data shows that the scourge of do­mes­tic abuse is a fac­tor in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang that we can­not ig­nore.

“It is to­tally un­ac­cept­able and we must sup­port the po­lice in their ef­forts to root it out.

There are fur­ther law changes be­ing con­sid­ered by the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment to pro­tect do­mes­tic abuse vic­tims. We must en­sure not only that the law is fit for pur­pose but that vic­tims are given ap­pro­pri­ate sup­port and pro­tec­tion in our com­mu­ni­ties.”

Abuse Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang recorded shock­ing fig­ures for do­mes­tic abuse. (pic­ture posed by mod­els)

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