Caithness, Sutherland & Ross MSP Maree Todd (pictured) has marked the 16 days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign, following the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls on the 25 November.
The MSP has paid tribute to the ‘lifeline’ local support services that aid survivors of gender-based violence.
Commenting, Maree Todd MSP said:
“Gender-based violence is endemic throughout Scotland, including across the Highlands.
“Recent figures suggest the number of domestic abuse incidents in the Highlands has more than doubled in 10 years and these are only reported incidents – we know that countless cases will go unreported.
“We are fortunate to have a range of fantastic support services throughout the Highlands, including the Ross-shire and Caithness & Sutherland Women’s Aid centres in my constituency.
“We will forever be indebted to the amazing team of staff and volunteers across these services for their life-saving and life-changing work.
“If you are being affected by domestic abuse, please reach out to report your experience and seek support.”
The Scottish Government continues to fund a range of supportive and preventive services to tackle violence against women and survivors of such violence.
Honouring its ‘first 100 days’ commitment, £5 million of new funding was directed toward rape crisis centres and domestic abuse services to help cut waiting times earlier this year, following an increase in demand on services due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This funding came on top of £5.75 million allocated in 2020-21 to help redesign frontline services to ensure they are best equipped to handle the added pressures of the pandemic.
Commenting on the 16 Days of Activism, Maree Todd said:
“The 16 Days of Activism campaign is an opportunity to reflect on the action required to prevent and eradicate gender-based violence and a reminder that we must also challenge the outdated gender stereotypes and societal attitudes towards women and girls that enable it to continue.
“The Scottish Government’s ‘Equally Safe’ strategy has a strong focus on advancing gender equality and tackling the underlying attitudes that create the societal conditions for gender-based violence to flourish.
“The Scottish Government’s continues to work on realising the aims and ambitions of this strategy to eliminate violence against women and girls.”
Local Support Services
Scottish Domestic Abuse Helpline – freephone 0800 027 1234
Ross-shire Women’s Aid – 01349 863568
Caithness and Sutherland Women’s Aid – 0345 408 0151
Inverness Women’s Aid – 01463 220719
Lochaber Women’s Aid – 01397 705734
RASASH (Rape and Sexual Abuse Service Highland) – 08088 010302