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Domestic violence, also called domestic abuse, includes physical, emotional and sexual abuse in couple relationships or between family members.

It’s abuse if your partner or a family member:

  • threatens you
  • shoves or pushes you
  • makes you fear for your physical safety
  • puts you down, or attempts to undermine your self-esteem
  • controls you, for example by stopping you seeing your friends and family
  • is jealous and possessive, such as being suspicious of your friendships and conversations
  • frightens you

Where can you get help?

You don’t have to wait for an emergency situation to seek help.

You can:

The Survivor’s Handbook from the charity Women’s Aid is free and provides information for women on a wide range of issues such as housing, money, helping your children, and your legal rights.

Anyone who needs confidential help with their own abusive behaviour can contact Respect on their free helpline on 0808 802 4040.

And more information is also available online at the NHS website.


If you’re concerned about your drinking or someone else’s, a good first step is to visit your GP. They’ll be able to discuss the services and treatments available. You can also contact contact Rehab Recovery today on 0800 088 66 86 for free advice. Here are some information from their website:

Different types of rehab in Scotland

In Scotland, there exist many different types of rehab clinics. These clinics specialise in helping solve different addictions and different mental health problems. Rehabs also differ in the quality of services on offer. Some offer a luxury rehab service.

If you choose to go to a luxury rehab clinic, you will benefit from an ensuite bedroom, gym facility and you will not have to cook your own food whilst your treatment programme takes place. Luxury rehab clinics are not inexpensive.

If you do not seek a luxury rehab clinic, Rehab Recovery is also able to refer you to a mid-range rehab clinic in Scotland. Here, you will undergo treatment in more modest settings. When you select a mid-range rehab clinic, the quality of therapy is equal in quality to that offered at a luxury rehab clinic. The only key point of difference is that a luxury rehab clinic offers superior surroundings and an enhanced degree of personal comfort.

What’s the difference between inpatient and outpatient rehab?

Inpatient rehab requires you to remove yourself from your living environment and reside within the actual clinic for around 10-28 days whilst you undergo addiction treatment. You will have limited contact with the outside world during this time. Inpatient rehab eliminates the risk of relapse because you will not be able to physically access drink and drugs whilst you undergo your treatment. This means inpatient rehab is ideal for people who may have tried and failed at other forms of outpatient addiction treatment.

Outpatient rehab is when you attend therapy and treatment sessions during the day time but return home during the evening. Outpatient rehab is not as intensive as inpatient rehab, and the risk of relapse is greater because you are not removed from your drug or alcohol using environment whilst you undergo treatment. Outpatient rehab is generally recommended for people who suffer from a mild addiction, or perhaps for people who have gone through the rehabilitation process before but have experienced a relapse.

How do I get into rehab in Scotland?

In addition to going to your GP, you can gain  entry into a rehab clinic in Scotland, through the Rehab Recovery. You can call them on 0800 088 66 86 to complete a short telephone assessment. This assessment allows them  to recommend a rehab clinic in Scotland suited to you or your loved ones needs.

Each rehab clinic will contact you directly. You will converse with each rehab clinics’ admission team. Once you’ve chosen a rehab clinic, you will then undertake a pre-admission assessment. Following the completion of this assessment, you will then agree on a date and time for your actual admission.

Visit their website to see what happens during my rehab programme in Scotland?



The Priory Wellbeing Centre Aberdeen is conveniently located within the city centre ensuring accessible and convenient treatment to suit your schedule.

Location: 7 Queens Gardens, Aberdeen, AB15 4YD,

Telephone: 0808 252 0965

The Alexander Clinic

The Alexander Clinic recognise addiction as a no fault illness which if treated, can lead to positive changes in lifestyle and wellbeing.

Location: King Street, Oldmeldrum, Inverurie. AB51 0EQ.

 01651 872100   |    24/7  

Castle Craig Hospital

If you are concerned that you may have a alcohol addiction problem, or if you are the family member, friend or employer of someone with alcohol addiction in Aberdeen, Castle Craig can provide you with the tools you need to find the right private alcohol rehab treatment option.

Location: Blyth Bridge, West Linton, Peeblesshire, Scotland, UK,

Telephone: 0808 231 5882

As well as the NHS, there are a number of charities and support groups across the UK that provide support and advice for people with an alcohol misuse problem.

Alcohol Concern

Runs the national drink helpline,

Drinkline on 0300 123 1110

Visit website

Alcoholics Anonymous

Helpline 0845 769 7555

Visit website


Drinkline runs a free, confidential helpline for people who are concerned about their drinking, or someone else’s.

The purpose of the Drinkline service is to offer free, confidential, accurate and consistent information and advice to callers who are concerned about their own or someone else`s drinking regardless of the caller`s age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity or spirituality.

Helpline: 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am–8pm, weekends 11am–4pm)

 ADA – Families & Friends Support Group

The Family & Friends Support Group provides confidential support and advice for families and friends of drug and/or alcohol users in a safe and welcoming environment. Two workers attend the group to facilitate and provide accurate information and advice.

The group provides:

  • Information on drugs and alcohol, related issues and other local services
  • Advice on how to manage your situation
  • Guidance on how to access help for the drug/alcohol user and family/friend
  • Opportunity to meet and share experiences with people in similar situations
  • One-to-one support, as required
  • Naloxone training

The group meets every two weeks in Aberdeen.  New members are seen on an individual basis by a worker prior to attending group meetings to ensure that the group is appropriate for them. Please contact us for more information on how to join the group.

Telephone: 01224 594 700.

FASD Support Groups

If you are in an abusive relationship, you may be worried about how you will cope financially if you leave. There are a number of benefits and financial assistance you can apply for to help you through this difficult time and set up on your own. These include: 

Housing Benefit 

This can be paid for up to 52 weeks and can be used to help towards rent payments when you are temporarily absent from your normal home due to domestic abuse. If you want to return to your former home in the future, you may also be able to transfer the benefit payments to this address, provided the property has not been sublet and meets Housing Benefit conditions. 

Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) 

If you are unemployed, you may be able to apply for a break from actively seeking work for up to 13 weeks if you have been a victim of domestic violence and abuse. This break is to help you get your life back on track and is split into two stages: 

  • An initial period of 4 weeks, starting on the day you tell Job Centre Plus that you are the victim of domestic abuse. You must do this in a face to face interview or over the phone with a Job Centre Plus Work Coach
  • A further 9 weeks if you provide evidence during the initial 4 week period

To be eligible for this initial 4 week break, you must already be claiming JSA or be part of the ESA Work Related Activity Group (WRAG), and the abuse must have taken place within the past 26 weeks. You must not be living at the same address as your abuser and you must not have had another break for the same reason within the past 12 month period. The incident must also meet the definition of domestic violence. 

Universal Credit 

If you have been a victim of domestic violence and abuse when claiming Universal Credit, you can also apply for a break from job seeking as outlined above. The break can be extended for up to 26 weeks if you are the main carer of a child aged 16 or under, particularly if the child has been distressed by witnessing domestic abuse.  

Alternative Payment Arrangements 

If you are already claiming Universal Credit as a couple but wish to manage your money yourself as the result of suffering domestic abuse, you can apply for an Alternative Payment Arrangement. This means that payments are split into two different bank accounts rather than one, and it is also possible to allocate a higher amount of the payment to one party if they are a primary carer.  

For further information about the full range of financial assistance available from the government for victims of domestic abuse, click here 

Aberdeen City Council Financial Advice

If applying for financial aid seems daunting, you can reach out to your local council who offers free, impartial and confidential advice regarding money, filling forms, budgeting and debt. More information can be found here.

With any kind of addiction, it’s important to set yourself realistic goals when you start the recovery process. This isn’t going to happen overnight, and recovery itself comes with lots of challenges that you’ll have to learn to overcome with time.  

Managing your expectations (and those of your loved ones) is key to recovery and provides you with a healthy framework to guide you through. On the other hand, if your expectations are unrealistic, you’re setting yourself up to fail.  

Realistic expectations about alcohol recovery is really important, for several reasons: 

  1. It helps you prepare mentally for the ups and downs you’ll probably experience over the coming days, weeks and months  
  2. It avoids nasty surprises – if you’re prepared for all eventualities and think honestly about what could go wrong, you’re more likely to be able to deal with them 
  3. It minimises stress. People who put too much pressure on themselves to be perfect are more likely to suffer with stress related illnesses and depression – which also leads to wanting to drink more 
  4. It delivers better results. It’s important to remember we’re all human, so don’t expect too much from yourself in the early stages and you might be pleasantly surprised by what you can achieve.  

These methods are really helpful for setting achievable recovery goals: 

Be kind to yourself  

Being realistic about recovery means being kind and patient with yourself. There will be some days when you do great, and others when you feel in desperate need of a drink and relapse. If that happens, it’s important to accept that it happened and learn from it, rather than beating yourself up and reinforcing negative feelings about yourself. Treating yourself with kindness is key to staying on course and achieving your goals. 

Set achievable goals 

Any plan needs to be broken down into achievable goals, so set yourself some targets and monitor them as you go. One day without drink is a big achievement, so be proud of yourself and tick it off your list. You’ll be amazed by how the days turn into weeks, months and years when you’re patient with yourself.  

Learn as much as you can 

Educating yourself about alcohol and the recovery process can be hugely beneficial. Recovery will take a different path for everyone, but by understanding the key issues about how addiction works and how to overcome them you’ll be much better equipped to stay on track.  

Focus on health, not alcohol 

Alcohol abuse has far reaching effects on our physical and mental health, so instead of thinking about giving up drinking, flip it on its head and focus on gaining a healthier, happier you. By adopting healthier habits you will start to see positive changes in yourself which will spur you on to continue your journey to recovery. 

Acknowledge your achievements  

Addiction is often linked to negative selfimage that can be deep rooted from many years ago. So, change the way you see yourself and don’t be afraid to be proud of what you achieve. Every time you have a positive experience or refuse a drink, acknowledge it and praise yourself. When you change your self-talk, wonderful things can start to happen.  

Be flexible 

This isn’t a race with a clear finish line, so it’s hard to set a clear date for when you will be alcohol free. Being realistic about your recovery means acknowledging the fact that this is going to be a road that’s full of twists and turns, so be prepared for barriers and learn from them, rather than putting yourself under more pressure.  

Contact your GP

If you’re concerned about your drinking or someone else’s, a good first step is to visit your GP. They’ll be able to discuss the services and treatments available.

Your GP can support with a multitude of concerns. You should contact them if you are looking to make any significant lifestyle changes. They will also be able to support if you are dealing with someone else’s drinking.

Police Scotland

Emergency calls

In an emergency please telephone 999.

If you are deaf, deafened, hard of hearing or have a speech impairment, a text phone is available on 18000.

You should use these numbers if:

  • A crime is happening right now.
  • Someone is in immediate danger, or there is a risk of serious damage to property.
  • A suspect for a serious crime is nearby.
  • There is a traffic collision involving injury or danger to other road users.

Non-emergency calls

For all other calls to the police in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland please telephone 101.

Calls cost 15p from mobiles and landlines, regardless of duration. They are free of charge from pay-phones.

If you are deaf, deafened, hard of hearing or have a speech impairment, a text phone is available on 18001 101.

You should use these non-emergency numbers to:

  • Report a crime not currently in progress – for example a stolen car, burglary, or damaged property.
  • Give information to the police about crime in your area.
  • Speak to the police about a general enquiry.
  • Contact a specific police officer or member of staff.
  • See table below for a complete list of forces and telephone numbers.

If you need to contact the police from elsewhere please check the website of the force you wish to contact. Please see the complete list of force websites for links. Please note that some forces may not advertise local numbers that can be called from abroad and that where such numbers are made available, they may not be staffed 24/7.


If you are having a difficult time, or if you are concerned about someone else, we would recommend calling the Samaritans. They can listen to your needs and pass you details of support groups that can help.

Click here to check out their website or call 116 123.

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