The theme of this year’s 16 days of activism is “Orange the world: fund, respond, prevent, collect” with a focus on COVID-19 response, recovery and renewal.
In Orkney, St Magnus Cathedral was floodlit in orange on 25th of November, the international day for the elimination of violence against women. ‘Orange the World’ St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall
The restrictions imposed due to Covid has resulted in a rise in reported incidents of domestic violence. According to a recent Police Scotland report, in 2021 so far, 34,103 incidents of domestic abuse have been recorded in Scotland, up 7.6% on the previous 12 months.
Maree Todd SNP, MSP for the Highlands and Islands, Minister for Children & Young People commented:
“The consequences of this pandemic have been grave and the latest figures which report an increase of domestic abuse incidents in Scotland, work to further highlight this.
“In a time where we are encouraging people to reduce their social interactions and stay at home, it is essential that we also support those in vulnerable situations, where home is not a safe place.
“From investing significant levels of funding in frontline services and bringing forward new legislation to implementing the Equally Safe strategy – the Scottish Government is determined to prevent and eradicate violence against women and girls in Scotland.”
The Scottish Government’s Equally Safe strategy highlights the need to prioritise prevention. The strategy has a strong focus on advancing gender equality and tackling the underlying attitudes that create the societal conditions for gender based violence to flourish.
Before the pandemic, figures from 2018-19 show 57 incidents of domestic abuse per 10,000 recorded in Orkney.
Maree Todd said:
“Whilst the figures of domestic abuse incidents in Orkney may be lower than some areas of the country, it’s worth pointing out that this is only reported incidents – we know that countless cases go unreported.
“I would encourage anyone in Orkney who is a victim of abuse to get in touch with some of the fantastic support services we have in place on the island and across Scotland. Please don’t suffer in silence.
“I was pleased to see the Scottish Government mark both the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the global 16 days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence through a moving debate in Holyrood yesterday.”