A ‘crowd’ of supporters Women’s Aid will be appearing at George Square, Glasgow, to show their support for the vital services the charity provides for women in Glasgow.
A set of striking life-sized cardboard representations (pictures here http://www.flickr.com/copytaker) of women and children affected by violence is on tour around Scotland to help highlight the need to safeguard services for women during the current round of cuts.
The ‘crowd’, each with an inscription reading “I’m here because I’m not safe at home” set off on their journey from the Scottish Parliament on Thursday October 28, 2010 with the support of several MSPs and will be in George Square, Glasgow at 1pm.
Women’s Aid groups around the country are supported nationally by two funding streams supporting Violence Against Women services and services to children and young people who experience domestic abuse. These will come to an end in March 2011 and no decision has yet been taken on their future. If they are withdrawn many Women’s Aid groups will lose almost half of their funding and one group will lose nearly two thirds of its income.
Glasgow Women’s Aid manager Alison Ryan said, “While we are aware that there need to be cuts in public expenditure, we would urge the Scottish Government and Local Authorities to look to the outcomes achieved from funding both prevention services and crisis services for both women and children who are experiencing Domestic Abuse.
“The children who we work with in schools and in our refuges tell us how the service has made a difference to the relationships they have and their self-esteem and this must mean that they will grow up to believe society cares about them.”
Scottish Women’s Aid manager Lily Greenan said: “We realise public expenditure has to be cut and that people will have to make sacrifices. But it would be a false economy to cut these specialist early interventions when we know the impact that domestic abuse has on public services in the longer term.”
This view is also shared by the Scottish Women’s Budget Group which submitted a briefing paper to MSPs and councillors last Wednesday (October 27).
Distributed to the media by Copytaker, on behalf of Scottish Women’s Aid. Media enquiries to Andrea Pearson 0141 241 6343 or 0776 967 6899 out of hours.
Photos of cutouts here http://www.flickr.com/photos/copytaker/sets/72157625261490758/
For more information on the Glasgow event contact Alison Ryan 0141 553 2022
Notes for editors
1. The cost of dealing with a murder is estimated to be a minimum of £144,239 and for serious wounding £9,190. Source: http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/housing/financialbenefitsresearch About half of all the women murdered in Scotland are killed by the partner or ex partner. In 2008/9 13 women were murdered by their partner or ex partner and each one resulted in lengthy, and costly, investigations and legal proceedings being carried out. This claim is backed by the Scottish Women’s Budget Group which launched a briefing highlighting the need to consider the gender equality implications when making financial decisions.
2. Currently, these funds amount to just over £8.3 million per year. This consists of the Rape Crisis Specific Fund – £700,000; Violence Against Women Fund – £3,505,337; Children Services Women’s Aid Fund – £4,166,258. The Scottish Government will shortly be deciding on the details of the budget. Scottish Women’s Aid recommends that finance for the Violence Against Women sector should continue to be provided nationally.
3. The duty to assess the impact of policies and practices in relation to gender had been a legal requirement since June 2007. The Scottish Government has statutory obligation to address gender-based violence under the Gender Equality Duty.
4. Members of the Scottish Women’s Budget Group, including Angela O’Hagan, Anne Meikle, Annie Donaldson and Carole Ewart have contributed to the briefing paper. For more about Scottish Women’s Budget Group check http://www.swbg.org.uk/
5. A recent study of 12 local authorities in Scotland conducted for the EHRC, reported a total of £4,108,782 spending on Violence Against Women projects (2008/09). This funded a range of activity including direct services (including refuges, counselling, advocacy work); training and awareness raising; supporting multi agency partnership work across the local authority area. Source: Counting the Cost’ ODS Consulting. Equality and Human Rights Commission Scotland. August 2010
6. Scottish Women’s Aid (SWA) is Scotland’s leading authority on violence against women. It plays a vital role campaigning and lobbying for effective responses to domestic abuse. SWA provides advice, information, training and publications. For more information check http://www.scottishwomensaid.org.uk/
Scottish Women’s Aid is a company limited by guarantee, registered company no SC128433 and a registered charity, charity number SC001099.
7. Silhouettes will be on view to public10th November – time to be confirmed – Glasgow City Chambers – led by Glasgow Women’s Aid 18th November – time to be confirmed – Edinburgh City Chambers – led by Edinburgh Women’s Aid
8. Additional background statistics:
• In total 40 local, affiliated Women’s Aid groups around the country provide specialist services to women, children and young people. These include safe refuge accommodation, information, counselling, training and support.
• In 2008/09 police recorded 53,681 incidents of domestic abuse of which 84% were against women.
• In a recent study by the Equality and Human Rights Commission ‘How Fair is Britain’, Equality and Human Rights Commission, Triennial Review Report (2010) under reporting was listed as a key issue particularly amongst women from ethnic and religious minority communities. Violent incidents were also under reported by disabled women, who are abused by, but dependent on, their carers.