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What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is a pattern of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and/or violent behaviour, including sexual violence, by a partner or ex-partner. Domestic abuse is overwhelmingly experienced by women and perpetrated by men. It doesn’t matter how old someone is, what race or ethnicity they are, what class they are, whether or not they are disabled, or whether they have children – anyone can be a victim of abuse.

Often when people think of domestic abuse they think of physical violence, but domestic abuse is very often so much more than that. For many women who live with domestic abuse there will be no scars, bruises or broken bones, but for some it can take their life. No one kind of abuse is more serious than any other. For further information: https://womensaid.scot/information-support/what-is-domestic-abuse/

Support with accommodation

There is range of local services to support women wanting to explore their housing options as a result of domestic abuse, this includes access to emergency accommodation and refuge. Please contact any of the number to discuss your housing needs:

  • WDC Emergency Homeless Team: 01389 776400 
  • WDC Housing - No Homes for Domestic Abuse: 01389 738510
  • Dumbarton District Women’s Aid: 01389 751036
  • Clydebank Women’s Aid: 0141 952 8118

Useful information and advice from Shelter Scotland on domestic abuse 

Practical and Emotional Support

There are a range of local services that can provide support, information and advice:

  • CARA (challenging and responding to abuse): provides confidential support and counselling to women, children and young people:
    • Self and Agency referrals welcomed: 0141 562 8800
  • CEDAR (children experiencing domestic abuse recovery):
    • provides therapeutic group work for children and young people age 4 – 16 years and their mother’s
    • Self and Agency referrals are welcomed: 0141 562 8870
    • For further information on CEDAR 
  • Criminal Justices Women’s Safety and Support: Support for women who are or have experienced domestic abuse and an offence has been referred to court or if you or a partner are receiving criminal justice social work services:
    • Contact: 01389 738484 and ask to speak to a Women’s Safety Support Officer
  • Clydebank Women's Aid offers refuge, support and advocacy for women, children and young people:
  • Dumbarton District Women’s Aid: offers refuge, support, advocacy and counselling for women, children and young people.
  •  Scottish Women’s Rights Centre: Free and confidential legal information for women who have experienced abuse or violence. https://www.scottishwomensrightscentre.org.uk/
  • Education (schools) - Our establishments work together with a range of partners in order to support our young people and families who may experience Domestic Abuse in a sensitive manner. If you or your child would like more information on support for this matter, please speak to the Head Teacher / Pastoral Care teacher in the first instance.
  • Rape Crisis offers outreach support in West Dunbartonshire to women and girls aged 13 and over who have experienced sexual violence at some point in their lifetime. We can also provide support to male or female friends and family members, or workers who are supporting a survivor. Referrals for outreach support can be made by contacting us at our Glasgow Centre on 08088 00 00 14.

West Dunbartonshire also have Independent domestic abuse advocate specialist (IDAAs), if you report domestic abuse to an agency your worker should discuss with you about carrying out a DASHRic (domestic abuse stalking and harassment risk indicator checklist). This assessment is to support you to identify how agencies can support you to keep you safe. High risk individuals are then referred to a MARAC Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARAC) where upon you will be appointed an IDAA specialist.

MARACs are meetings where information about high-risk domestic abuse victims is shared between local agencies. By bringing a number of agencies together, a risk-focussed, coordinated safety plan can be put in place to support you. Your views will be represented at a MARAC by the independent domestic abuse advocacy specialist (IDAAs) and act as the link between your self and agencies to ensure any actions agencies take will make you safer.