Fire service staff are being trained by campaigners Medics Against Violence (MAV) to raise their awareness of domestic abuse.
They join other professionals such as GPs, dentists and hairdressers.
The training includes the viewing of a powerful new film - entitled ‘Harder’.
Community Safety Minister Annabelle Ewing launched the new film on a visit to Kirkcaldy today, Thursday 12 January, to see firefighters taking part in the training.
The film shows how the signs of domestic abuse can sometimes be visible, though not necessarily in bruises or injury, and includes advice about how to broach this sensitive subject with someone who may be the victim of abuse.
As well as being used in training sessions, the video is being made publicly available to further raise awareness of how many more people can spot the signs of domestic abuse.
Assistant Chief Officer David McGown, Director of Prevention and Protection, said:
“The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has identified a need to train officers about domestic abuse as there is a clear link with fire raising. Firefighters operate in all sections of every community which means our crews are in a position where they may be able to notice abuse and help someone access the support that’s available.
“Domestic abuse affects people of every background and victims are often very reluctant to seek help. By identifying this ensures that those who are vulnerable receive the correct support.
“Medics Against Violence already train other professionals who work with the public and training firefighters how to identify and act on domestic abuse can make a real difference and help protect our communities.”
The Ask, Support and Care (ASC) programme, set up under the pioneering Medics Against Violence project and the Violence Reduction Unit, has so far trained more than 2,300 professionals.
Christine Goodall, founder of Medics Against Violence, said:
“The Scottish Fire and Rescue service sit at the heart of every community, both urban and rural, and so are very well placed to provide support to residents in the area
Community Safety Minister Annabelle Ewing said:
“Domestic abuse can often be a hidden crime, inflicting long term damage on victims who are too afraid to speak out. Training professionals to spot the signs and have the confidence and information to broach the subject is an important way of making a difference.”