Domestic abuse

Since March 2015, the Commissioner's office has been working with Scottish Women’s Aid on issues around court ordered contact and domestic abuse.


In 2010, former Commissioner Tam Baillie consulted over 70,000 of Scotland’s children and young people to find out what was important to them.

One of the things they said was that they wanted help to be safe and secure in the home.

Commissioner Baillie took this to mean that children and young people wanted to be free from abuse and neglect and decided to focus on issues relating to domestic abuse.

He was already concerned about issues about contact, which our enquires service regularly gets calls around. Talking to professionals who deal with domestic abuse confirmed that:

  • issues around contact arrangements cause children and young people great anxiety,
  • practice around contact arrangements where there is a history of domestic abuse is variable in Scotland, and
  • practice around contact arrangements where there is a history of domestic abuse isn't always keeping children safe.

Because of this, he decided that issues around contact were worthy of further examination.

Power Up/Power Down

The Commissioner's office has worked with Scottish Women’s Aid on Power Up/Power Down. This is a participative project that helps children and young people with lived experience of domestic abuse explore the processes and decisions involved in court-ordered contact.

The findings of the children and young people will directly inform our policy and influencing work around court-ordered contact. They will also be produced as:

  • a compilation story book,
  • a DVD,
  • a PowerPoint resource, and
  • an end of project report.

Learn more about Power Up/Power Down.

More on domestic abuse