Dundee has seen an increase in people fleeing their homes due to domestic abuse, new figures revealed.
A total of 153 people applied for council housing last year due to violent or abusive disputes in the household, compared to 144 in 2015/16 and just 34 five years ago.
Meanwhile, a report on homelessness in Scotland, compiled by Heriot-Watt University, found Dundee has a shortage of female-only emergency accommodation.
North East MSP Bill Bowman has called on Dundee City Council to examine its strategy for housing those who have to choose between “hate and a home”.
He said: “These figures are a real cause for concern in themselves, but also present an opportunity for the city council and the Scottish Government to form a strategy.
“There are excellent resources available in Dundee such as Women’s Aid but a roof over one’s head is the biggest worry for someone considering leaving an abusive relationship.
“Even a one-day wait is too much and could be the difference between safety and tragedy. People should not be forced to choose between hate and a home.”
Information obtained through a Freedom of Information request did not distinguish between gender of applicants to the council.
Mr Bowman added: “Although the records do not distinguish between the genders, anecdotally we would expect a high proportion of these victims to be women.
“Any men who are fleeing abusive homes are equally vulnerable and at risk of further violence, however.”
Dundee Women’s Aid echoed the concerns regarding the lack of female-only housing.
The organisation has 17 spaces for women in its refuge centre, but said that the level of security did not suit everyone’s circumstances.
Women’s Aid Dundee manager Mary Miller explained: “What women need is choice.
“Our flats are sole occupancy and there are strict rules about no male visitors.
“Some women may rely on brothers, fathers or male friends for support, so this may not be suitable for them.
“However, they often feel unsafe living in mixed-sex hostels.
“We have been discussing this with the council over the past few years and I’m hopeful that a solution can eventually be found.”
Councillor Alan Ross, convener of community safety and public protection said that the council works to “listen offer advice and support victims”.
He added: “There is no place for domestic abuse and coercive control in the city.
“Victims of domestic abuse don’t have to suffer alone, in Dundee we work in partnership with a variety of organisations across the city to increase the safety of victims and children of domestic abuse.
“If you are in a relationship where you are being abused please visit our website for information on your options.
“If you are worried about your and/ or your children’s safety, please call the police.
“If you have decided that you want to leave, the council can give you practical help and advice, you can contact us for free on 01382 432001 or 0800 633 5843, 24 hours a day.”