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Helping domestic abuse survivors into work

Published: 8 Mar 2016 00:01

Scottish Women’s Aid to support women into employment.

Women who have suffered violence or abuse at the hands of a partner will benefit from an investment of £190,000 to help them back into work, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced.

The funding will allow Scottish Women's Aid (SWA), in partnership with local domestic abuse services, to work directly with women to give them the opportunity to get back into the job market and ensure they receive vital support and guidance.

Evidence shows that women who have been financially dependent on a partner and have suffered domestic abuse may struggle to rebuild their lives. It is essential to address their economic inequality to reduce and ultimately eradicate domestic abuse.

Ahead of her speech at the SWA annual conference, which is taking place on International Women's day, the First Minister said:

"Women face a range of barriers that may prevent them moving into employment but none more so than if they are struggling to rebuild their lives after suffering abuse at their hands of their partner. That's why the Scottish Government is dedicating this additional funding to help women access fair employment opportunities and develop themselves both professionally and personally.

"Nobody should live in fear at home or within their wider community. We need to do more to help rebuild the lives of these survivors. This funding will ensure women who may previously have lost confidence or who have relied on their partner's income now have a chance to become more financially independent.

"The Scottish Government has committed more than £17 million funding this year to tackle the scourge of domestic abuse across Scotland and this additional money will have a significant impact to help improve the lives of survivors. There's no place for domestic violence in Scotland and I am committed to do all I can to eradicate it for good."

Dr. Marsha Scott, Chief Executive of Scottish Women's Aid, said:

"Scottish Women's Aid is absolutely delighted to receive funding for 'Building Equality: Employability and Domestic Abuse.' 'Equally Safe,' Scotland's strategy to end domestic abuse and other forms of violence against women and girls, sets out Scotland's stall on the issue of women's poverty--of time, of opportunity, of money, and of power.

"For the first time, we are seeing serious efforts to move beyond crisis intervention to real prevention by addressing the drivers of women's inequality.

"In collaboration with Close the Gap and Engender, we will tackle occupational segregation by supporting women into good jobs that lift women and their children out of poverty. It's a win-win for women and children and for Scotland."

Emma Ritch, executive director of Engender a charity that promotes equality for men and women, said:

"Women's economic inequality is a cause and consequence of violence against women.

"We are delighted to be partnering with Scottish Women's Aid and Close the Gap on this groundbreaking project to support women who have experienced domestic abuse into sustainable employment. It has the potential to change women's lives, and transform employability service delivery in Scotland."

Notes to editors

The Scottish Government has provided funding of over £12m from the Equalities budget and £5m from the Justice budget for 2015/16 (this £5m is from the £20m committed by Justice over 2015-18). The funding for this project is from the Justice violence against women fund which was announced last year for a range of measures to tackle and eradicate violence against women and girls.