More than half a million pounds to help women suffering violence and abuse.
Women who have suffered violence and abuse will benefit from a funding boost of £570,000 to help build stronger and more resilient women's support groups across Scotland, Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil announced today.
The funding will be allocated to domestic abuse and sexual assault services as one-off payments to invest in improving their resilience and infrastructure to help them provide a better service to women survivors.
Mr Neil made the announcement on a visit to the Edinburgh Women's Aid group.
"The Scottish Government is absolutely committed to tackling the scourge of violence against women and girls. This funding boost of over half a million pounds will ensure local Women's Aid and Rape Crisis centres can continue to provide vital services to women and girls throughout the country. It means every local centre or group will receive an extra £10,000 to help them reach those in need.
"Violence against women and girls is a fundamental violation of human rights, blighting thousands of lives each year. We are providing record levels of funding and strengthening the law in this area, but we know there remains much to be done.
"We will work together with our partners across the public and third sectors to do everything possible to prevent and eradicate all forms of violence against women and girls. Through our strategy, Equally Safe, we are working tirelessly to create a strong and flourishing Scotland where all women and girls are equally safe and respected."
Chief Executive of Scottish Women's Aid, Dr Marsha Scott, said:
"We are of course delighted to hear about any additional funding for local services, especially when demand for services is rising and local funding sources are very stressed. Particularly welcome is any investment in infrastructure, given the challenges involved in delivering services in the context of recession, austerity, and year-on-year cuts in real spend, all of which have eroded service resilience. We look forward to working with other stakeholders, officials, and politicians in the next Parliament to reform how and, perhaps more important, for how long, violence against women services are funded both nationally and locally."
Sandy Brindley, National Coordinator of Rape Crisis Scotland, said:
"Rape crisis centres across Scotland provide crucial support services for survivors of sexual violence. We are delighted to receive additional funding to assist in the delivery of these services."
In 2014/15 there were 59,882 reported incidents of domestic abuse in Scotland, and 79% involved a female victim and a male perpetrator. There were 1,901 rapes or attempted rapes recorded by the police in Scotland during 2014-15. Where the victim's gender is known, 95% (or 1,278 out of 1,349) rapes or attempted rapes recorded by the police in 2014-15 had a female victim
This funding will be provided to all groups and centres which are currently performing satisfactorily. The total amount will be a maximum of £140k for Rape Crisis Scotland and a maximum of £430k for Scottish Women's Aid (this includes all Women's Aid groups in Scotland, not just those affiliated to Scottish Women's Aid). £570k is the total amount.