If you or someone you know is being abused, it can be difficult to know where to turn. However, there are lots of organisations in Scotland who offer support to people experiencing domestic abuse.

Scotland's Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline

We know it’s hard to pick up the phone and ask for help, but we want you to know that you are not alone.

If you feel scared of your partner or if you are worried about someone you know, get in touch with Scotland’s 24 hour Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline on 0800 027 1234, visit sdafmh.org.uk or email them at helpline@sdafmh.org.uk. There is language translating and interpreting service available.


In an emergency

If you witness a violent incident or there is an immediate threat to yours or someone else’s safety call 999 and ask to speak to the police. If you cannot speak out loud because it would alert an abusive person to the phone call being made, dial 55 after calling 999 and the call will be put through to the police.

Local Women's Aid Services

Your local Women’s Aid group should be able to offer advice and support in a number of areas, including legal, financial, emotional and housing. Women’s Aid groups support all women, including trans* women and women in lesbian relationships. Women’s Aid services can also help you to access counselling and a refuge if necessary where you and any children will be safe if you choose to leave an abusive relationship. Find your nearest Women’s Aid service here. 

Children and Young People

If there is an adult or tutor that you trust at your school, college or university it is totally okay to ask them for help. Even if they don’t know what to do, they should help you access the support you need. Every school, college and university has someone that is in charge of the welfare of their students. As much as possible, adults should respect your wish to keep what you have said private if that is what you want. If they think you are in immediate danger or at risk of serious harm they might have to tell other people, like the police.

If you are under 16 and need someone to speak to about domestic abuse, you can call Childline on 08001111. It is free from any phone and won’t show up on your phone bill. You can also go to the Childline website www.childline.org.uk/get-support/ and create an account where you can chat 121 with a counsellor or send them an email.


Women’s Aid services are trans* inclusive, and provide support to women in lesbian relationships as well as heterosexual relationships. Local services can offer practical and emotional support to you and your children; find your local Women’s Aid group here.

You can also contact Fearless, a domestic abuse service that specialises in working with people in LGBT relationships. Call them on 0131 624 7266 or visit fearless.scot

Legal advice & your rights

The Scottish Women’s Rights Centre offer free legal information and support to all women, including those with no recourse to public funds. Visit their website here: www.scottishwomensrightscentre.org.uk

Citizens Advice Bureaus will be able to provide information and help you to understand what your rights are in lots of areas, including housing, social security and immigration: www.cas.org.uk

The Women’s Project provide legal advice and representation to refugee and migrant women and children in Scotland who have an unsettled asylum/immigration position and who have experienced gender-based violence in their country of origin and/or the UK: www.lsa.org.uk/lsa

The Ethnic Minorities Law Centre (EMLC) provides legal advice and representation to individuals from Scotland’s Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities: www.emlc.org.uk



As well as Citizens Advice Bureaus, you may be able to get support regarding your housing rights from Shelter who offer advice here. You can contact their live chat here www.scotland.shelter.org.uk/about_us/contact_us, or for urgent housing advice call Shelter’s helpline on 0808 800 4444.



You can speak to your GP, midwife or health visitor about abuse in confidence, and seek medical assistance if you need it.

Men experiencing domestic abuse

Men experiencing domestic abuse can visit the Men’s Advice Line, the dedicated organisation for men.