Figures show the number of people being convicted of domestic abuse in the city has steadied – though a charity says statistics for this year will show if a new law is working.
The latest statistics show the number of prosecutions and convictions at Aberdeen Sheriff Court in 2017-18 was roughly the same as in 2016-17 – and it was the same for Elgin and Peterhead sheriff courts.
However, Scottish Women’s Aid says a test of whether victims are getting the best help will be when the 2019-20 figures come out.
Those statistics will – for the first time – include cases of psychological domestic abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour, which have been crimes since new legislation was introduced in April.
A Scottish Women’s Aid spokeswoman said: “Scotland’s new domestic abuse law is the world’s gold-standard, but it requires new processes across the criminal justice system and new ways of evidence gathering.
“Our focus now is on making this law work in practice for those across Scotland experiencing domestic abuse.
“When we look at these same figures for 2019-20, we hope to see the new law has been implemented in the way it was intended.”
The Evening Express obtained the latest figures from the Scottish Government using freedom of information powers.
They show there were 848 domestic abuse proceedings at Aberdeen Sheriff Court in 2017-18 and 847 the year before. The number of convictions rose slightly, from 662 to 666.
There was a slight drop at Elgin Sheriff Court, where there were 222 cases and 210 convictions in 2017-18, compared with 238 and 210 a year earlier.
The pattern was similar at Peterhead Sheriff Court where there were 217 cases and 175 convictions in 2017-18, compared with 215 cases and 178 convictions the year before.
At Banff Sheriff Court there were 37 cases and 27 convictions in 2017-18.
Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “The Domestic Abuse Act makes absolutely clear coercive and controlling behaviour is domestic abuse and a crime.
“I am proud Scotland is leading the way with this groundbreaking legislation, which uniquely recognises the effect of domestic abuse on child victims as well as adults.”