Scot­tish chil­dren taught about con­sent as part of ef­forts to stop vi­o­lence against women

The Herald on Sunday - - VOICES -

AN ac­tion plan to tackle vi­o­lence against women in Scot­land is to be ex­panded.

The Equally Safe strat­egy launched last year in­cluded mea­sures to teach school chil­dren the im­por­tance of con­sent and healthy re­la­tion­ships.

Now, as part of a United Na­tions cam­paign of 16 days of ac­tivism around vi­o­lence against women, which be­gins to­day, the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment has high­lighted ac­tions taken and schemes to be ex­panded.

The Cale­do­nian pro­gramme that works with men con­victed of do­mes­tic abuse-re­lated of­fences is to be ex­tended to help cut re-of­fend­ing, while the Rape Cri­sis Sex­ual Vi­o­lence Pre­ven­tion Pro­gramme will also be taken to more schools.

Ad­di­tional fund­ing for rape cri­sis cen­tres was an­nounced last month.

Equal­i­ties Min­is­ter Christina McKelvie said: “The UN cam­paign pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity to fo­cus on vi­o­lence against women and girls, which re­mains a very real prob­lem in so­ci­eties across the world.

“Along with other min­is­ters, I will be tak­ing part in a num­ber of events over the 16 days to high­light the ac­tions be­ing taken to tackle this is­sue.

“Our progress re­port pro­vides ev­i­dence of the work un­der­taken so far and the work planned for the fu­ture.

“This in­cludes run­ning a cam­paign to raise aware­ness of co­er­cive con­trol and do­mes­tic abuse to co­in­cide with the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Do­mes­tic Abuse Act, and con­ven­ing a round ta­ble on what more can be done to tackle on­line abuse and misog­yny.

“We are de­ter­mined to work with oth­ers to cre­ate a Scot­land to be proud of, where all of our cit­i­zens are Equally Safe and vi­o­lence against women and girls is con­signed to his­tory.”

Dr Mar­sha Scott, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Scot­tish Women’s Aid, said: “One woman ex­pe­ri­enc­ing do­mes­tic abuse is one too many. To know that across Scot­land there are many thou­sands liv­ing in fear is not some­thing as a coun­try that we can tol­er­ate or ac­cept.

“Six­teen Days of Ac­tion is an in­ter­na­tional cam­paign with an im­por­tant mes­sage. A mes­sage that each and ev­ery one of us can and should be part of the move­ment to end vi­o­lence against women and girls.

“Though we have come a long way – and in many ways Scot­land leads in ef­forts to elim­i­nate vi­o­lence against women – we have a long way to go be­fore women’s equal­ity is achieved.

“For as long as that in­equal­ity ex­ists so too will the ha­rass­ment, abuse and vi­o­lence that we ex­pe­ri­ence. And so too will the work of Scot­tish Women’s Aid, and the wider sec­tor, so that women in Scot­land have equal op­por­tu­nity to ex­plore all their am­bi­tions and as­pi­ra­tions, and live their lives free from fear, vi­o­lence and abuse.”

Pho­to­graph: Getty

Hun­dreds of events are cur­rently tak­ing place glob­ally to mark the United Na­tions’ ‘16 days of ac­tivism’ cam­paign, which is be­ing sup­ported by the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment’s new Equally Safe strat­egy

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