A documentary airing tonight lifts the lid on domestic abuse in Scotland.

Title and time?

Disclosure – Surviving Domestic Abuse, Monday 11 March, BBC One Scotland & BBC iPlayer, 9.00-10.00pm

What’s the approach?

Using home footage and interviews, seven women tell their stories of surviving domestic abuse. Each case was followed by the filmmakers for a year to chart the women’s experiences of the justice system.

How common is domestic abuse?

Every year in Scotland, 65,000 reports of domestic abuse are made to police. That’s one every eight minutes. Dr Marsha Scott, Scottish Women’s Aid tells the programme: “I think it’s really, really easy to say ‘Why doesn’t she just leave?’…women don’t stay in abusive relationships because they like them. They stay in abusive relationships because we’ve made it so difficult for them to leave.”

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What do the highlighted cases cover?

A variety of experiences, including one woman who listed reasons against reporting her abusive partner, including: “Prison will be hard”. Another switched on her phone and hid it to record an attack. Poet and Herald columnist Len Pennie is among the seven survivors. As Pennie told reporter Barry Didcock in an interview for the Herald magazine last month, she suffered in an abusive relationship and, though she escaped it, was beset by mental health problems.

How does the justice system fare?

One of the questions posed by the film was whether the justice system was helping or hindering victims. Although the law in Scotland is praised for taking a more progressive, victim-centred approach to abuse, the system is slow, often unresponsive, and is labouring under a backlog. Latest estimates suggest there are 27,000 cases waiting to be heard in Scottish courts.

Who made the film?

It was produced, directed and filmed by Liam McDougall for BBC Scotland’s Disclosure, editor Shelley Jofre.