The subject of this afternoon's debate is, as the Government's motion describes it, a
"very serious and totally unacceptable problem in Scottish society".
Domestic abuse, whether physical or psychological, is always abhorrent. Scottish Labour, along with, I am sure, all or certainly most members across the chamber believes that domestic abuse is never a legitimate form of behaviour. As a response to a situation, it is beyond the pale, regardless of the gender of the victim.
No thinking person could have anything but sympathy with male victims of domestic abuse at the hands of female perpetrators. The most recent statistics show that such incidents account for 14 per cent of incidents of domestic abuse reported to the police in 2008-09.
It is unquestionably the case that Scotland has a significant problem with domestic abuse. For instance, 53,881 incidents of domestic abuse were reported in 2008-09, compared with 49,655 recorded incidents in 2007-08. That constitutes an 8 per cent increase, which in itself is part of a steady rise in incidents reported since 2000-01.