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01/02/18 00:01

Funding for Scottish Women’s Aid

Scottish Women’s Aid ready staff as Domestic Abuse Bill progresses.

Scottish Women’s Aid is being granted dedicated training funding of £165,000 from the Scottish Government ahead of the Domestic Abuse Bill progressing through Parliament.  

The funding will support improved understanding of coercive control within communities and develop bespoke training materials for Scottish Women’s Aid staff.

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson will visit the organisation this morning (Thursday) to see a demonstration of the type of training that will be provided and to hear how the new Bill will make a difference to their work.

He said:

“Scottish Women’s Aid have long campaigned for enhanced legislation to better reflect the experiences of women who suffer from domestic abuse, and they have been instrumental in the development of this bill.

“Training is a crucial element to ensuring that the new legislation helps as many people as possible. It is often staff within invaluable organisations like Scottish Women’s Aid that are the first to engage with victims of domestic abuse. The bespoke training and accompanying web-based resources will enhance their preparation for the new offence coming into force.

“Today’s opportunity to view an introductory session of training brings home the reality of what this new legislation will achieve – helping us on our way to eradicate this most insidious crime from our society.

“The Bill has received widespread backing throughout the Parliamentary process which I hope continues today with comprehensive support for a new offence of domestic abuse.”

Marsha Scott, CEO of Scottish Women’s Aid said:

“If passed in Holyrood today, the Domestic Abuse Bill will change the landscape for victim-survivors of domestic abuse in Scotland, but no law alone can end domestic abuse.

“We are thrilled to have received funding to train trainers and deliver training on coercive control and the new Act in communities across Scotland. The impact of good training on improving responses cannot be underestimated. This project will help us to prepare for this new Act and make a real difference to the lives of women, children and young people experiencing domestic abuse.”

Background

  • This funding is in addition to core funding of £370,000 per year (2017-2020) to the Scottish Women’s Aid National Office. Scottish Women’s Aid also receive funding of £451,178 (2017-2019) for the National Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline.
  • Stage 3 of the Domestic Abuse Bill takes place today (Thursday) at Parliament. If passed, it will create a specific offence of domestic abuse that will cover not just physical abuse but also other forms of psychological abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour that cannot easily be prosecuted using the existing criminal law.
  • As the Domestic Abuse Bill progressed through Parliament, Mr Matheson announced dedicated funding for Police Scotland to enable them to train officers and staff to identify the new offence.
  • Zero Tolerance and Scottish Women’s Aid launched new photo resources for media, to encourage ethical depictions of domestic abuse in all its forms. Images available from Dropbox.
  • In conjunction with Scottish Women’s Aid and ASSIST, Zero Tolerance also produced a new briefing for journalists in anticipation of the Bill being passed. It is available on their website.