Charlie Taylor, one of Scotland’s top female businesswomen and hairdresser, helped Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon launch a powerful book, recounting the personal experiences of women who have lived with and left domestic abuse, earlier this month.
The Deputy First Minister and Charlie launched the book to mark International Women’s Day and to send out a message of solidarity and support for women all over Scotland, and encourage those experiencing abuse to seek help.
Produced by Glasgow Women’s Aid, A Way With Words, brings together dozens of moving stories from women who have accessed local services across the city to help them live a life free of abuse. Poems, stories and artwork commemorate their struggle and sorrow, celebrate their strengths and their new found freedom and will hopefully give a voice to those still suffering in silence.
Working with a storyteller and art worker, the women (many of whom were in refuge) used words and art to tell their tales of strength and bravery, to inspire other women to pick up the phone and get help.
Charlie commented, “I was delighted to lend my support to the launch of this book and help increase awareness of domestic abuse in our society. Every woman should be safe in her own home and by uniting we can show that help is available and a life without intimidation and physical violence is not only possible, it is their basic right.”
She continued, “As a hairdresser, I hear a lot of women's problems and I know that just talking to someone can be a great relief. I would urge anyone to seek support from a local women's aid group or contact the Scottish Domestic Abuse helpline, it's just a first step to surviving abuse.”
Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said, “International Women’s Day is a major day of global celebration of women’s achievements and it is great to see so many women being open about their own experiences, in a bid to help others.
“Sadly, many women experience abuse at the hands of a partner at some point in their lives, and we know this can mean women sometimes give up on life, and become detached from their family, friends, career and ambitions.
“It’s important that women know they are not to blame, they are not alone and that help is available. I believe women can be strong together, are resilient and through the right support, can achieve anything, including living a life free of abuse.
“That’s why the Scottish Government has allocated over £44 million to support a range of fantastic services. This will give more and more women the confidence to come forward for help for them and their children and we will continue to do everything we can to get the message across that there is no excuse for abuse.”
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, contact the Scottish Domestic Abuse Helpline. The helpline is free, confidential and calls from landlines cannot be traced. The number is 0800 027 1234 or log on to the campaign website on www.domesticabuse.co.uk.