Agreeing with a Tory politician is NOT something I do regularly. But Hawick MSP John Lamont is entirely right to be deeply concerned about the growing level of domestic abuse being reported in the
Scottish Borders. The release of statistics this week by the Scottish Government has confirmed that the region is currently at a ten-year peak in the reporting of such cases.
This is a deeply unsettling statistic and although I’ve written previously about how Mr Lamont is very forthcoming in condemning figures like this, without acting purposefully on his concerns, I do applaud him for his recognition of the matter and his appreciation that efforts need to be made to figure out why there are more cases of domestic abuse happening in the Borders area.
The solution to a problem often lies in its causes and an assessment of the root cause is often the best way to combat an issue. With this is in mind, it’s apparent that cases of domestic violence or abusive behaviour in the home may be far more complex than other problems. By finding out the contributing factors which lead to people committing crimes of this nature, we can begin to understand and eradicate the problem. Although it has to be said that in many cases the perpetrators are simply reprehensible human beings.
Mr Lamont is also right when he says we need to give people in dangerous situations an escape route, and this is something that has to be emphasised and hopefully people living in a violent environment can see there is help available.
Domestic abuse takes many shapes and forms, ranging from physical violence to mental torture. This is one of the reasons it can go undetected for so long, no-one knows what goes on behind closed doors.
And people are very adept at putting on a brave face and not letting on that they are suffering.
In my opinion, and I’m sure you will agree, no-one should be made to feel unsafe in their own home. Which is why this is a social problem that requires immediate attention, and the Scottish Government’s statistics should not just be written evidence of the issue, but also the catalyst towards improving the lives of domestic abuse victims.