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Strategy to prevent violence against women refreshed to tackle attitudes

The strategy will aim to tackle attitudes that lead to violence against women and girls (PA)
The strategy will aim to tackle attitudes that lead to violence against women and girls (PA)

A strategy which aims to prevent violence against women and girls has been refreshed by the Scottish Government to focus on tackling attitudes.

The Equally Safe strategy, developed in partnership with local authority body Cosla, was first published in 2014 and is backed by a delivering equally safe fund which provides around £19 million each year to support 112 organisations.

The previous strategy, which saw the Domestic Abuse Act passed at Holyrood in 2018, was hailed by the Government as a “significant milestone” as it created specific offences that covered physical and psychological abuse as well as coercive and controlling behaviour.

Victims minister Siobhian Brown said the new strategy will focus on increasing collaboration across sectors to tackle attitudes and values that result in domestic violence.

It comes as the latest Police Scotland figures show it recorded 14,602 sexual crimes in 2022/23, with at least 37% of these relating to a victim aged under 18.

Ms Brown said: “Violence against women and girls has no place in our society. The impact of violence is wide-ranging and can have a long-term lasting effect on the lives of those affected, their families and communities.

“This refreshed strategy builds on progress made to date in raising awareness of the prevalence and harmful effects of violence against women and girls, strengthening the law, and providing support and resources to public and third sector workers helping those affected.

“Our delivering equally safe fund focuses on early intervention and prevention, as well as support services, and I am pleased that around 32,000 adults and children benefited last year.

“There remains work to do and sustained action is needed. That is why our future vision focuses on finding opportunities to work collaboratively and constructively whenever possible to stamp out violence wherever we see it and preventing it happening in the first place.”

A delivery strategy will be published in the spring and will set out further actions to help achieve the goals.