Funding to tackle violence against women
The allocation of funding for services to tackle violence against women was announced today, International Women's Day.
Last year the Executive announced that a new national £6m Violence Against Women Fund would run from April 2006 to March 2008. The Fund is designed to support projects delivering services across Scotland and developing ways in which groups and organisations can work together to provide better responses to violence against women.
The 86 projects to receive funding work to provide prevention, protection and/or services. The projects include:
- A new abuse recovery service for mothers in Moray who have experienced abuse, run by Children 1st (£19,977)
- Establishing a drop-in service to provide support, information and advice to women, children and young people as part of the Community Domestic Abuse Outreach Project for Nairn, run by Inverness Women's Aid (£96,000)
- Extending the Working with Men project in Edinburgh which works with abusive men to address their behaviour (£100,000)
- The work of the Rape Crisis Centre in Glasgow (£100,000)
- Providing an outreach support service to ethnic minority women experiencing domestic abuse, run by Shatki Women's Aid in Edinburgh (£56,366)
Communities Minister Malcolm Chisholm said:
"There is no greater threat to the quality of life for women in Scotland, than the prevalence of violence and abuse.
"The range, reach and depth of work we are able to support with the new fund demonstrates how pervasive the violence is and the impact it has.
"It's a good mix of new projects and existing work and makes a significant contribution to challenging all forms of violence against women wherever and whenever they occur.
"The funding enables many organisations to draw on their expertise and experience to build consistent, high-quality responses to support women and children.
"Just because we hear the phrase 'multi-agency partnerships' often, doesn't diminish the important role these play too. I know that the work of individual organisations is strengthened by such an approach and through this funding we are also keen to encourage organisations to work together so that women receive the most effective services available and we can maximise the benefits this funding will bring.
"I look forward to having the opportunity to see first hand how these services develop over the coming months."
Deputy Minister Johann Lamont added:
"The violence and abuse which erode the health, welfare and well-being of too many women are painful reminders of the inequalities women in Scotland can face.
"In this, the 100th anniversary year of the founding of the Scottish Women's Suffragette Federation, it is right that we reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that women are not denied opportunities in society.
"International Women's Day is an important event in the Scottish Executive's calendar. It is as important today as it has ever been and we remain determined in our efforts to improve women's rights and equality.
"We know that women are still experiencing inequality - differences in pay, access to the same employment opportunities. But we have legislation in place and it is crystal clear: women are entitled to equal pay not only for work which is similar to - or the same as - men's, but also for work that is of equal value. In Scotland we have a pay gap which now stands at 12% and although this continues to decrease, any gap is unacceptable.
"The contribution of women to society is immense but too often this contribution is not reflected in status, reward or position. Locally, nationally, globally, women are a long way short of equality. The drive to keep this on the agenda is as vital as ever and in doing so, today we will restate our commitment to achieving gender equality."
Ministers are undertaking a number of engagements to mark International Women's Day today including: a Scottish Women's Convention event with parliamentarians in the morning; an Executive debate in the Scottish Parliament at the Hub in the afternoon; an Executive reception in the Parliament in the evening and; the launch of Edinburgh University Press' Biographical Dictionary of Women.
The Violence Against Women Fund replaces the Domestic Abuse Service Development Fund which provided £9m from 2000 to 2006 and the Violence Against Women Service Development Fund which provided £1.5m from 2004 to 2006. This new Violence Against Women Fund will allocate £3m per annum for 2006/7 and 2007/8. Organisations submitted applications for funding.
'Violence Against Women' in this context encompasses but is not limited to: Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring in the family, within the general community, or in institutions, including: domestic abuse; rape; sexual harassment and intimidation at work and in the public sphere; commercial sexual exploitation, including prostitution and trafficking; adult survivors of child sexual abuse; dowry related violence; female genital mutilation; forced and child marriages; honour crimes.
The theme of International Women's Day 2006 is 'Women in decision-making'. International Women's Day was first observed by the UN on 8th March 1975.