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Coronavirus: Nicola Sturgeon announces £1.5 million funding to tackle domestic abuse

The First Minister has announced more than £1.5 million of funding for Scottish Women’s Aid and Rape Crisis Scotland to support domestic abuse victims during the coronavirus crisis.

Speaking at a media briefing on Tuesday, Nicola Sturgeon announced the sum as part of the £350 million Communities Fund.

She said: “There is, as I think everybody understands, a real risk that women and children who are already subject to domestic abuse will feel even more isolated and vulnerable during this crisis, so this funding will help ensure that they have access to support services.

“I want to ensure that people know the Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline remains fully operational at all hours during this epidemic.”

She continued: “The key message that I want to convey today is this: people who are suffering from domestic abuse do not have to wait to seek help. That help is available now and you should not hesitate to come forward and get it.”

It was asked if more needs to be done on domestic violence during the current coronavirus lockdown, given the increase in cases elsewhere in the world.

Ms Sturgeon responded by saying she thinks there is a need to keep a very close eye on domestic abuse in Scotland.

She added Police Scotland are very conscious of the issue, and the Scottish Government will continue to look at the resources for frontline organisations.

Ms Sturgeon pointed those who might need support or advice in the direction of the Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline’s website, where there is a help webchat and email service.

They can also be called on 0800 027 1234.