The recent #metoo campaign highlighted very effectively on social media the issue of violence against women and girls.
The Scottish Government has a new strategy, the Equally Safe Delivery Plan, to prevent and eradicate violence against women and girls. An additional £1million of funding has been pledged towards it.
The Plan has 118 actions under 4 priority areas:
- that Scottish society embraces equality and mutual respect, and rejects violence
- that women and girls thrive as equal citizens
- that interventions are early, effective and maximise the safety of women, children and young people
- that men desist from violence and perpetrators receive a robust and effective response.
Sandy Brindley of Rape Crisis Scotland said:
“In the past few years, overall levels of crime in Scotland have gone down, so it should be of concern to us all that sexual crimes – much of which is directed at girls and young women – have continued to rise to record levels.
“Over the past four years we’ve worked with over 36,000 young people, providing space for discussions around consent and healthy relationships to support young people to navigate these situations in their own lives. If we are serious about ending sexual violence and harassment in Scotland then prevention work, especially with young people, is key.”
The Delivery Plan is the result of close working between the Scottish Government, COSLA and partners. Measures within the plan are practical including Rape Crisis Scotland’s sexual violence prevention programme being rolled out across a further 11 local authorities.
Councilor Kelly Parry of COSLA said:
“COSLA welcomes the publication of this implementation plan and we are particularly encouraged by the preventative nature of many of the actions – including the valuable work to expand Rape Crisis Scotland’s Sexual Violence prevention programme.”
Local MSP John Finnie, Scottish Greens, speaking at a debate in the Scottish Parliament on ‘16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence’ said:
“It is incumbent on men to challenge attitudes and assumptions which reinforce many of the behaviours associated with violence against women. I welcome the publication of the Scottish Government’s action plan which I hope will go some way toward addressing these underlying attitudes.
“Clearly there have been changes in attitudes around domestic abuse in recent years which has to be welcome. One example is the approach taken by our police service, which is markedly different from the tactics used 20 or 30 years ago. However, we still have a long road to travel if we are to end gender based violence in Scotland.”
From 2017 to 2020, the Scottish Government is providing £594,000 to support Rape Crisis Scotland’s Sexual Violence Prevention work and £128,500 to Close the Gap to develop an Equally Safe accreditation scheme for employers.
Other funding includes £250,000 for a national campaign on sexual harassment and sexism, £120,000 to develop a sustainable model of capacity building for services in relation to gender based violence and £72,000 to create a coordinator post situated within COSLA to embed Equally Safe at a local level.
For Information, Support and Help:
Women’s Aid Orkney: 01856 877900 firstname.lastname@example.org
Orkney Rape Crisis Service contact details Mon – Fri 9.30-4.30pm
Rape Crisis Scotland Helpline 08088 01 03 02 6pm till midnight
“Sexual violence affects more people in our community that we imagine. Confidential support and advocacy for anyone from age 13. Whether recent or long ago. Whether you report or choose not to. We believe you.“