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'Partner and Domestic Abuse in Scotland'
The last decade has seen the introduction of a number of legislative measures in Scotland to criminalise and protect against domestic abuse. At the same time, the Scottish Government's Violence Against Women team has developed a national strategy for tackling domestic abuse and guidance for practitioners in the field, and the Scottish Policing Assessment 2011-15 has declared domestic abuse a key priority, with particular focus on under-reporting of abusive behaviour. In spite of this activity, research seeking to explore and understand the issue of domestic abuse and inform the development of the policy and practice response has, to date, been scarce. Developed through a collaborative study with the Police Service for Scotland, this paper presents findings from exploratory, multivariate analyses of the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey data. The prevalence of partner and domestic abuse and the characteristics of victims are examined, and the disparity between key groups of victims in terms of police awareness and attention discussed. Critical gaps highlighted in current national policy and guidance are also addressed.