Reporting to the Police

Some women are fearful of reporting an incident to the police. They fear that it may make the situation worse but if the police know what is happening they may be able to make things safer for you and your children. Domestic abuse is wrong and the police should take it seriously.

Domestic Abuse Officers

All police forces have specially trained domestic abuse officers. They will contact you if you report domestic abuse. They are there to help and can advise you appropriately.

They can:-

  • Listen to what you say and help you with safety and other things that you may be worrying about
  • Tell you about the law and what happens when the police and the courts are involved
  • Help you decide what to do
  • Help you to make your home safer
  • Tell you about other support
  • Contact other agencies for you


What you can expect from the police

  • To be treated well
  • To be told what is happening
  • To be told about the result of investigations

What the police will do when you contact them

They will check to see if you are injured and if you need medical attention. They will gather any evidence that they can. There must be 2 sources of evidence. This does not have to be eyewitnesses. It could be one of your neighbours hearing a disturbance. It is not your responsiblity to provide the police with all the facts and evidence that they need. It is up to the police to investigate thoroughly.

The police will interview you. Usually this will be in your home or where the incident took place. They will interview you away from the person who assaulted you. You can have someone with you. If English is not your first language you can ask for an interpreter. The police should provide an interpreter and not use your children or a family member.

The police will note if any children are present in the home. In most cases, if children are present they will tell the Children's Reporter and the Social Work Department. They do this so that these agencies can work with you to make sure that you and your children are safe.


What will happen to your partner/ex-partner?

The police will interview them. If there is enough evidence they may charge him and take him into custody.

If they do not charge him, he will be released within six hours.

Once charged the police may keep your partner/ex-partner in custody until he appears in court (usually the next working day) or release him on condition that he agrees to attend court on a certain date.

If the police do not have enough evidence they may not take action against your partner/ex-partner. However, the fact that you have reported him will go on record. This is useful if there are any more incidents. Officers from the domestic abuse unit can still help you if you want.

Once the police have been called, it's up to them what happens next. It's not up to you. If there is enough evidence the police will take the appropriate action. You cannot withdraw your complaint.

If the case goes to court and you live in the Glasgow area you will be referred to ASSIST. Their remit is to support women and children who are going through the court process. (see Useful Contacts)


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