This documentary demonstrates the stark reality of domestic abuse through the words of victims delivered by actors. It illustrates that abuse knows no bounds whatever the victim’s social status, religion or age and ASSIST are pleased to support the making of this film.

Living in fear of your partner, is especially difficult at this time of year. Rather than look forward to the forthcoming festivities, many families are frightened of further violence and abuse.

ASSIST, Scotland’s first specialist independent domestic abuse advocacy service has been working for many years to build a coordinated community response to domestic abuse involving both statutory and voluntary agencies in an effort to effectively challenge this blot on society. However, nearly half of ASSIST clients are at high risk of further serious harm.

Mhairi McGowan, ASSIST’s Head of Service said, “ASSIST receives referrals from Police Scotland immediately after a domestic incident when victims are often experiencing shock and disbelief about what has happened. Our highly trained workers offer an immediate assessment of the risks to the victim and then ensure our clients’ views are relayed to the PF before the Accused’s first appearance in court, so that the court is aware of what the victim wants.” She continued, “Our sole focus is reducing the risk to and improving the safety of our clients and we are well aware of the dangers victims face when trying to keep themselves and their children safe. By engaging with ASSIST, victims of abuse can be assured they are speaking to someone who understands the difficulties they face.”

For many people who are referred to ASSIST, speaking to an Independent Domestic Abuse Advocate is their first opportunity to talk about what is happening at home. Many clients have never considered that they are experiencing domestic abuse. 

Much has been achieved. Two-thirds of ASSIST clients’ risk levels have reduced from very high risk by the end of their work with ASSIST. However, there is a lot still to do. There is an urgent need to eliminate the postcode lottery that exists for victims in Scotland. Better targeting of perpetrators and an improved criminal justice response aligned with effective early intervention processes for victims focussed on a robust assessment of risk and effective safety planning is crucial. 

Those who experience abuse deserve a step change within Scottish society to ensure that everyone feels safe in their own home and none of Scotland’s children grow up in fear of a parent.  

For further information, contact 

Mhairi McGowan, Head of Service, ASSIST, 0141 276 7726 or 07717712651 [email protected]