If you need support, contact Clydebank Women's Aid on 0141 952 8118 or Scottish Women's Aid on 0800 027 1234.

Domestic abuse rates in Clydebank have remained largely unchanged for a decade in spite of continuing efforts to try and make survivors safer.

West Dunbartonshire’s rate of incidents per 10,000 people in 2019/20 was 150 - the exact same as a decade earlier.

The new figures, based only on police reports, were published last month by the Scottish Government.

They show the area’s current figure is down from a peak of 189 incidents per 10,000 back in 2011/12, and up from a low of 136 three years later.

But overall there has been no significant shift, even as new legislation has been brought in, for example, on coercive control.

Clydebank Women’s Aid (CWA), which has been rescuing abuse survivors and campaigning against the scourge for 40 years, said they were unsurprised by the unchanging figures.

They said it mirrors women’s position in society, which remains relatively unchanged.

A spokesperson for the charity told the Post: “The nature of living with domestic abuse is as such that many women who are, or have been, subjected to domestic abuse will not be in contact with any services, including our own.

“However, we cannot allow these so-called unchanging statistics to cloud our judgment when talking about domestic abuse as domestic abuse must be looked at holistically.

“These statistics look only at police incidents as opposed to the bigger picture of what women, children and young people are subjected to. In our experience, fear of retaliation from abusers is often the most decisive factor in women hoping to avoid contact with the police.

“Women who use our service also worry that control is taken from them and placed into the hands of services and choices are then made for women without their consent.

“There are many factors which contribute towards women’s reluctance to report and to access support and these should always be considered when stats are reported.”

Thirty-nine per cent of the 62,000 reported incidents of domestic abuse in 2019-20 took place in the victim’s home, with another 29 per cent in someone else’s home and just 5 per cent at the accused’s home.

While thousands of victims are aged in their 20s and 30s, there are hundreds under the age of 16 and over the age of 61.

There were 46,000 female survivors in Scotland and more than 9,000 male ones.

The rate of female victims per 10,000 is almost five times more than male.

A significant majority of accused had a previously history of attacks.

CWA warned abuse would not stop until society stopped peddling excuses and myths to absolve responsibility.

They said: “Men do not abuse because their team lost at football, nor because they have drug and alcohol addiction, or because it’s the weekend. They abuse to exert power, control and total dominance.

“The suggestion that men abuse because they themselves were abused is absurd – the cycle of abuse does not exist.

“If this were true, then women, who are disproportionately abused, would make up the majority of abusers but this is not the case.

“These myths and excuses are not only false, but they are dangerous, because they minimise women’s experience and reduce abusers to choiceless individuals with no agency who know no better.

“This is not true.”