What is gender based violence?

Gender based violence is violence or abuse that is directed against a female because she is a female. It is mostly carried out by males against females and can include acts that cause physical, mental or sexual harm or suffering. It also includes threats of such acts and intimidation.

Gender based violence includes a wide range of abusive behaviours such as: domestic abuse, rape, sexual harassment and intimidation, commercial sexual exploitation (including prostitution, pornography and trafficking), childhood sexual abuse, dowry related violence, female genital mutilation, forced and child marriages and "honour crimes"

What about males?

Males can also experience gender based violence but it is important to remember that most violence or abuse directed against males comes from other males and not females.

Same sex relationships

People in same sex relationships can experience all forms of gender based violence. We know that abuse within same sex relationships happens just as much as it does in heterosexual relationships.

If you need to speak to someone:

If it's an emergency, always dial:


Contact Police Scotland when it's not an emergency on:


You can also speak to professional staff at your local GP practice or hospital

Other support

Organisation Description Contact details
Committed to Ending Abuse
(previously Falkirk and District Women's Aid)
Provides a free, confidential service including practical and emotional advice and support.
01324 635661
Shakti Women's Aid Support for Black and Minority Ethnic women
01314 752399
Hemat Gryffe Women's Aid Support for Black and Minority Ethnic women
01413 530859
Rape Crisis Free confidential service of support and information for survivors of rape, sexual assault or child sexual abuse.
08088 010302
Open Secret Working with survivors of all aspects of childhood abuse, working with all ages and all genders.
01324 630100
Victim Support Free, confidential support and advice
01324 633433
Relationships Scotland Couple Counselling in Central Scotland. Appointments across Forth Valley
01324 670067
Signpost Recovery Support and direction for drug and alcohol misuse
08456 731774
Scottish Women's Aid Free, confidential and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
08000 271234
The Men's Advice Line A confidential helpline for all men experiencing domestic abuse.
08088 010327
Galop The leading LGBT anti-violence and domestic abuse helpline.
0300 999 5428
The Revenge Porn Helpline Offers free, confidential advice and support for men and women age 18+.
08456 000459
The Respect Helpline Offers information and advice to people who are abusive towards their partners and want help to stop.
08451 228609