For many decades Scotland has been at the forefront of work to tackle violence against women. Protecting women and children from all forms of violence, providing support and services for those who have or are experiencing violence, and preventing violence from occurring in the first place are national priorities.
The Scottish Government and COSLA, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities are currently in the process of developing a national strategy aimed at tackling all forms of violence against women which will be published in Summer 2014. Instead of a formal public consultation process, we are undertaking a period of focussed and targeted consultation and engagement with key stakeholders and interested parties to help inform the development of the strategy.
Our approach to engagement on Scotland's strategy to tackle violence against women and girls
In order to ensure that engagement on the strategy is as effective and meaningful as possible we are:
- Inviting and providing support for stakeholders who deliver frontline services to host discussion groups about the strategy with women who use their services as a result of having experienced violence;
- Meeting with key stakeholders including Police Scotland, Education Scotland, the Scottish Trades Union Congress and third sector organisations to discuss their commitments to tackling violence against women and girls which will be included within the strategy;
- Circulating an outline structure of the strategy and discussion questions to all partners for wider dissemination to their own networks. The outline structure and discussion questions are also publicly available and provide a means and opportunity for all those not directly involved in the discussion groups or meetings, to contribute their views on the strategy.
Why are we taking this approach?
We have taken the decision to move away from a formal consultation process because:
- We believe that our approach will allow us to reach more women who have experienced abuse and who have come into contact with services and agencies as a result of their experience;
- It reflects our intention that the strategy is developed through meaningful engagement and collaboration with frontline agencies and services.
So we will not be publishing a draft of the strategy for public consultation. However the outline structure of the strategy, list of frequently asked questions and discussion questions have been made publicly available. They provide a means and an opportunity for anyone not directly involved in the discussion groups or meetings to contribute their views on the strategy.
Responses to the outline structure of the strategy and discussion questions are being sought until Friday 28 February and should be sent to either:
Business Support Unit
Equality, Human Rights and Third Sector Division