Domestic abuse

Advice on what to do if you are experiencing domestic abuse.

What is domestic abuse?

The law now recognises psychological harm, as well as physical harm, as an offence.

This means that abusers engaging in patterns of coercive and controlling behaviour (behaviour that has taken place on two or more occasions) can now be punished by law. Find out more about this and the Domestic Abuse Scotland Bill here.

Have you experienced threats, abuse or violence from a partner, boyfriend or ex in the last 3 years? Does/did your partner, boyfriend or ex try to control what you do, where you go, or other choices you want to make in your daily life? 

Make a Stand

The Pledge has been developed by the Chartered Institute of Housing in partnership with Women's Aid and the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance. By signing up to the Pledge, Argyll and Bute Council has committed to providing specific support for people experiencing domestic abuse.

This includes:

  • Putting in place a policy to support residents who are affected by domestic abuse
  • Making information about national and local domestic abuse support services available on the council website and in other appropriate places so that they are easily accessible for residents and staff
  • Putting in place a HR policy, or amending an existing policy, to support members of staff who may be experiencing domestic abuse
  • Appointing a champion at a senior level in the organisation to oversee activity to support people experiencing domestic abuse.
Make a Stand certificate

Argyll and Bute Violence against Women and Girls Partnership

We work to ensure that domestic and gender based violence against women and girls, is not tolerated and that the right services are in place to support survivors.  We bring together key partners including the Council, Health Board, Police, Education, Criminal and Community Justice, Housing and other Third Sector organisations, to provide a focus for actions to eradicate violence and the impacts of violence on survivor’s lives.  These key actions make up the Argyll and Bute Equally Safe Implementation Plan 2018 – 2021

We work with our members to ensure that they have policies and procedures that are gender informed and support survivors of domestic abuse and their families.  This includes advice services that offer support, such as: counselling; housing, welfare rights advice and signposting to other services.  Our work also ensures that members have the appropriate policies and procedures in place to support their own employees effectively. In addition we work alongside Criminal Justice, Community Justice and the Judiciary to create programmes for perpetrators in order to allow them to address their behaviour. 

We believe it is essential to consult with survivors and other important groups, and keep them informed of our work and the work of our members.  As a part of this, views and feedback are welcomed on the work of the partnership and the information contained on this webpage.

Contact us at

Are you or is someone you know suffering from domestic abuse?

If you are seeking advice and support please contact the support services listed on this page directly.  They will do everything they can to meet your needs and will signpost you to other organisations, if you need extra help.

Women’s Aid

One in four women in Scotland experience domestic abuse and the harms they are subjected to can include physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse.  These harms are used by an abusive partner to gain and maintain power and control over a girlfriend, partner or ex-partner.

If you are frightened or worried about the way your partner (or ex) is treating you, you don’t have to suffer in silence – we are only a phone call away.  

What we can provide....

  • a free, confidential support service for women, children and young people
  • practical and emotional support
  • outreach support
  • information on personal safety, housing, benefits and legal issues
  • access to refuge accommodation
  • specialist support for children & young people

There are many things we can help you do to change your situation when you feel ready….

  • You can call us to talk over your options with one of our fully trained support workers
  • You can access appointments at times and in venues that feel right for you
  • You can use our service as you need it, whether it be a one off call or long term support
  • You can also phone the domestic abuse helpline on 0800 027 1234
  • In an emergency situation always call 999
  • You can report historic abuse at your local police station or via 101

Remember, you are not to blame for the violence or abuse, although your partner may say that you are. No one deserves to be abused.

Our workers will listen to you and will not judge you and they will help you to explore your options and support any decision you make.

Contact Us:

Argyll and Bute Women’s Aid (all areas): 01369 706636


Website -

Facebook: Argyll Women’s Aid

Rape Crisis

We provide specialist support and advocacy services to all survivors of all forms of sexual violence, including, but not limited to, rape, sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse whether recent or historic.

This free and confidential support is available to all survivors regardless of ethnicity or gender identity, so long as they are aged 12 years or over. The service is also available to non-offending family members as we are aware of the impact sexual trauma can have on them.

Phone: 0800 121 4685 



Find us on Facebook

You can access emotional support along with practical support on health issues, Police and legal procedures, hospital and Doctors’ appointments and Court attendance.

We use the term “Survivor” rather than victim – we know that your experience is unique to you and we believe that, with support, you can find your own answers. You don’t have to make the journey alone.

Everything you say is treated in confidence within the terms of our Child Protection and Vulnerable Adults policies.

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted you can call the Police - but if you decide not to, at this time, try to keep your clothing as forensic evidence diminishes after 72 hours. A Support Worker can accompany you to report if that’s what you want to do.

We will support you whether you decide to report to the Police or not. We can offer you information and options and no matter what your decisions or choices are, we will always respect them and you.


Police Scotland works to a nationally agreed definition of domestic abuse which has been adopted by the Crown Office Procurator Fiscal Service.

This is: "Any form of physical, verbal, sexual, psychological or financial abuse which might amount to criminal conduct and which takes place within the context of a relationship."

If you're experiencing domestic abuse, you have choices. You can:

  • report domestic abuse to the police
  • leave your home or get the person who is harming you to leave
  • talk about your options with someone from a support organisation (services are available for female and male victims).

After a crime you have rights – Victims Code for Scotland

Phone 0131 244 4227 to request the Victims' Code for Scotland in another language.

Whole Lives improving the response to domestic abuse in Scotland; Safe lives, March 2017

Police Scotland have a website and you can access this for information and to report offences, such as Domestic Abuse. 

If you prefer to talk to someone; to contact Police call 101 for non-emergencies and 999 in an emergency.  If you wish to be put through to a local Police Station you should ring 01786 289070.

Your Local Police Stations are as follows:

Campbeltown Police Station, Hazelbank Business Park, Campbeltown PA28 6AS

Clydebank Police Station (also for Helensburgh); 50 Montrose Street, Clydebank, G81 2QD

Dunoon Police Station, 1-3 Argyll Road, Dunoon PA23 8ES

Oban Police Station, Albany Street, Oban PA34 4AJ

Rothesay Police Station, 58 High Street, Rothesay, Isle of Bute PA20 9AZ.


Minor Injuries and Accident & Emergency services are provided 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week in the following hospitals:

Campbeltown Hospital: 01586 552224

Dunoon General Hospital: 01369 704341

Islay Hospital: 01496 301010

Oban General Hospital: 01631 788912

Dunaros Hospital (Mull): 01680 300392

Victoria Hospital (Bute): 01700 501536

Mid Argyll Hospital: 01546 703000

NHS 24:  08454 24 24 24

Home-Start Lorn

Home-Start Lorn has been supporting families with young children throughout the whole of the Oban and North Argyll area, including the outlying villages since 1988 and on the Isle of Mull since 2016. Through our home-visiting volunteers we offer a unique service providing practical and emotional support to parents/carers with one or more children under 5.

01631 566749

Social Work

Social Work can offer you unbiased, sympathetic, practical and emotional support in a safe and confidential setting. 

Contact Numbers:   

Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm: 01546 605517

Emergency Out of Hours Service: 01631 566491 or 01631 569712

Council Text for all departments: 07860 023933

Send an online enquiry.


Housing Services Domestic Abuse policy

Find useful housing contact numbers here.


Advocacy, Support, Safety, Information, Services Together.

ASSIST is a specialist domestic abuse advocacy and support service focussed on reducing risk to and improving the safety of victims of domestic abuse.  Its aim is to ensure that all victims of domestic abuse – women, children and men – are safe, informed and supported throughout their involvement with the criminal justice system.  You can get support from ASSIST if you are the victim (female or male) of an incident of domestic abuse following which the police have been called, where your partner or ex-partner has been charged and the case go through court.

Most ASSIST referrals are received from Police Scotland, who should ask you if you want referred to ASSIST, where they attend an incident of domestic abuse and your partner or ex-partner has been charged. ASSIST also accept self-referrals or referrals from other agencies where there is a Domestic Abuse case going through a Court within the ASSIST service delivery area

Areas Covered:

Glasgow, East and West Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, Argyll & Bute, North & South Lanarkshire, East, North & South Ayrshire. For male clients only parts of Edinburgh

Contact Information:

Tel: 0141 276 7710



Address: GCSS. Eastgate, 727 London Road, Glasgow, G40 3AQ


GamCare operates the National Gambling Helpline, providing information, advice and support for anyone affected by gambling harms. Advisers are available 24 hours a day on Freephone 0808 8020 133 or via web chat at

We also offer a range of free treatment (in person, online or over the phone) across England, Scotland and Wales, as well as a moderated Forum and daily chatrooms so that people can speak to others experiencing similar issues and seek support.

We also run GameChange, an online treatment course for those who are concerned about their gambling behaviour, supported by regular contact with a GamCare therapist. The course has been designed so you can work at your own pace, wherever is most convenient for you, over the course of eight weeks.

National Gambling Helpline: Freephone 0808 80 20 133


Opening hours: Helpline 24 hours a day

Useful websites

Scottish Women’s Aid 

Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline

LGBT Domestic Abuse Scotland

LGBT Youth 

Men’s Advice Line 

Abused Men in Scotland

Support for Male Victims of Domestic Abuse

Rape Crisis Scotland

Scottish Women’s Rights Centre

Ask for Ani Scheme

Safe Spaces to ask for help

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