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Committed to tackling Violence against Women

Published: 25 Nov 2015 09:30

Launch of international 16 days of action.

Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil today reaffirmed the Scottish Government's commitment to tackling all forms of violence against women and girls, on the International Day for the elimination of Violence against Women.

Marking the commencement of 16 days of action on violence against women and girls around the world, Mr Neil called on everyone in Scotland to play a part in combatting the issue.

The call to work together comes as the 2014 Scottish Social Attitudes Survey report on public attitudes to violence against women (VaW) in Scotland is published today. The report provides an insight into public attitudes on the issue, with findings showing people are less likely to recognise verbal abuse and controlling behaviour as being wrong and harmful.

Mr Neil said:

"Today marks the start of 16 days of activism to eradicate this terrible inequality. It's a tragic fact that women and girls in Scotland and across the world are at risk of, and experiencing, violence and abuse just because they are women.

"We have made significant steps in taking forward our commitment to achieve gender equality and prevent and eradicate all forms of violence against women and girls. Funding is at record levels which is supporting initiatives all across Scotland to help make a real difference.

"It is clear that there are no quick fixes to this deep-rooted problem. It requires significant economic, social and cultural change over the long term, that calls for the sustained commitment not just of a wide range of partners but of individuals and communities too. This was highlighted yesterday in Parliament during the debate on violence against women and the 16 days of action, and it is clear that there is significant cross party support for the continued progress being made."

Findings from the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey report include:

  • A substantial proportion of people believe common myths about rape, and think a victim's actions mean she is at least partly to blame
  • Stereotypical views on gender roles persist in Scotland. Those who hold stereotypical views on gender roles are consistently less likely than others to view a wide range of abusive behaviours as wrong or harmful.
  • People are less likely to be concerned about controlling behaviours and verbal abuse, compared to physical abuse

In March this year, the First Minister announced £20 million would be invested in a range of measures to tackle all forms of violence against women. This is in addition to another £11.8 million committed in the Scottish Government's budget for 2015-16.

In a significant step, the Violence Against Women and Girls Joint Strategic Board (JSB), co-chaired by Mr Neil, met for the first time this month. The JSB represents a diverse range of organisations across government, local authority, police, health and the third sector, and will work to ensure early intervention and prevention is a top priority for the organisations involved and encourage others in both the public and private sector to follow.

Notes to editors

Background

The 2014 Scottish Social Attitudes survey on public attitudes to violence against women can be accessed here: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/11/5577