The County You Live, Work And Play
Area Is Domestic Abuse Capital
Shameful new statistics reveal that there are more instances of domestic abuse in Monklands than anywhere else in North Lanarkshire.
Freedom of Information figures show that in the Airdrie Central ward, an incident of domestic violence was recorded on average at one in 23 households last year, the worst in North Lanarkshire.
In Coatbridge North the figure was one instance in every 26 households, the second worst in the area.
Across North Lanarkshire the average number of incidents of domestic abuse last year equated to one in every 37 households, significantly less than either of the Monklands wards and also fewer than the overall averages of one incident in 31 households for all Airdrie and Coatbridge wards combined.
Commenting on the shocking figures Sharon Aitchison, the chief executive officer of Monklands Women’s Aid, said: "This shows the scale of the challenge we face every day as we try to prevent domestic abuse and help the women and children who have experienced it, and clearly reflect the demand for our services. We have been providing support, information, advice and refuge accommodation to survivors of domestic abuse since 1981, and have helped thousands of people rebuild their lives, and the latest figures sadly show how badly these services are still needed."
"We believe domestic abuse is not caused by geography, poverty, drugs, alcohol or stress but by the inequality between men and women, and we have supported women and children from a wide range of social backgrounds. While these figures are shocking, we believe the number of women who are suffering at the hands of abusive partners could be even higher, as there are still considerable barriers in reporting abuse and leaving an abusive partner. It is crucial that women are given the financial and emotional support they need."
Coatbridge & Chryston MSP, Elaine Smith, called on the Scottish government to provide additional support to both victims of domestic abuse and the police.
She said: "Having personally worked with Women’s Aid, I know first hand how essential it is that domestic abuse is highlighted, tackled and the victims supported. I am aware that Police Scotland work locally with agencies such as Women’s Aid and I would encourage them to continue and add to those partnerships to help reduce the incidence of domestic abuse."
"However, the police are operating in a difficult environment at the moment with cuts to staff and offices with pressures in Police Scotland evidenced last week with the police staff survey showing high levels of dissatisfaction. The SNP Government must give more support to the police, the council and local communities not only to promote preventative measures but also to provide direct support to the victims of domestic abuse, predominantly women and children and to provide education to try and stop abuse in the first place."
Airdrie & Shotts MSP Alex Neil called the figures “very disappointing” and said the Scottish Government is working on legislation that will specifically target domestic abuse.
The Minister for Social Justice, Communities & Pensioners’ Rights said: “These figures for Airdrie and Coatbridge are very alarming and highlight the big problem that exists in parts of Scotland and Lanarkshire. It’s a high priority and in the next two to three years an extra £20m of funding will be available to specifically target domestic abuse. This is on top of the £34m of funding already devoted to tackling this problem. Additionally, Justice Secretary Michael Mathieson is working on a new law that will help deal with the perpetrators of domestic abuse much more effectively.”
Domestic abuse breakdown by council ward revealed the number of instances by per 1000 households and per 1000 residents.
Airdrie Central – 42.7 and 20.8.
Airdrie North – 26.8 and 13.1.
Airdrie South – 25.5 and 10.4.
Coatbridge North & Glenboig – 37.9 and 17.8.
Coatbridge South – 29.7 and 14.7.
Coatbridge West – 27.3 and 13.5.
The average across North Lanarkshire was 26.6 incidents per 1000 households and 12.5 per 1000 residents.