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Support for victims of domestic violence during COVID-19 outbreak

The safety and well-being of women and children who are at risk of experiencing violence during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is being supported with funds for key organisations.

Grants from the Scottish Government’s £350 million Communities Fund have been made to Scottish Women’s Aid and Rape Crisis Scotland to ensure that access to these key support services is maintained and victims still have access to methods of reporting crimes during the crisis, including using online video platforms, text messaging and phone calls.

The support fund has been welcomed by local MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden, Rona Mackay. Ms. Mackay, who is the convenor of the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Groups on Women’s Justice and on Men’s Violence against Women and Girls, reassured survivors that “you are not alone”. Commenting, Rona Mackay MSP: “My message to survivors of domestic abuse throughout Scotland is simple: you are not alone. “Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Scottish Government is leading the way in providing the help and support that survivors require. Coronavirus is changing the dynamics of our every-day lives but it does not deter from our zero-tolerance approach to rooting out violence against women and girls. “I welcome this fund from the Scottish Government, providing real terms help and support for my constituents. This is available now and can be accessed by all those impacted by domestic abuse and violence throughout Strathkelvin and Bearsden.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said:

“We want women and children experiencing domestic abuse in the home to know that although they may feel isolated and vulnerable during these unprecedented times, they are not alone.

“Anyone experiencing violence, including coercive and controlling behaviours, should not feel in any way inhibited by the current coronavirus outbreak to report a crime against them. These are enormously difficult times, but the safety of women and child victims who experience abuse in the home is paramount – the message to stay at home does not mean that they should not seek urgent help, advice or support.

“As the anniversary of the Domestic Abuse Scotland Act 2018 approaches, it is a priority now as ever that victims of domestic abuse and gender based violence have access to support services, and that support organisations and frontline staff, who work tirelessly to provide these vital services, are supported to deliver new ways of working in these unprecedented times.

“The Scottish Government will continue to prioritise ensuring that the health, safety and wellbeing needs of women and children experiencing domestic abuse and gender based violence are met. If you are experiencing abuse – please do not feel you have wait to receive vital support. This is available now.”

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