Scottish Women’s Aid and the GMB have joined forces to help to bring an end to domestic abuse.
Yesterday (Thursday 25 November) in the Scottish Parliament they unveiled the STOP campaign, which urges people to take action towards stopping domestic abuse by making an online pledge.
Two films on the campaign website, based on real experiences, show cases where a barman simply says “You shouldn’t put up with him, you deserve better” and a hairdresser makes a call to Women’s Aid on behalf of a client.
Scottish Women’s Aid and the union have teamed up on this campaign to show that people can make a difference in their workplace. The website lists ten ways in which people can take action, which include signing the pledge and contacting the website with examples of times when they have given someone support.
Attending the event were Cathy Peattie MSP, Marlyn Glen MSP, Rhoda Grant MSP, Patrick Harvie MSP, Alex Neil, Minister for Housing and Communities. There was a moment of intense quiet after the films were shown, until Lily Greenan, Manager of Scottish Women's Aid broke the silence.
She said of the campaign: “We believe that a world without domestic abuse is not just a dream, it is a possibility. This campaign is about small steps towards that possibility. Everyone can do something to stop domestic abuse. We want everyone to do just one thing.
“We should never underestimate the power of simply showing support. One of our films, shows a woman who finally takes a stand because a stranger notices the way she is treated. Sometimes ordinary people do extra-ordinary things, without even being aware of what they are doing.
“This is a very positive message to people. I believe together we really can bring an end to domestic abuse in this country.”
Harry Donaldson, GMB Scotland Regional Secretary, spoke of his deep personal commitment to eradicating domestic abuse and added:
“We are pleased to be partnering with Scottish Women’s Aid in launching the STOP campaign. We are all only too aware of the misery and distress caused by domestic abuse both in terms of physical and mental wellbeing. This campaign is about giving women an awareness of the help and support they need to change their lives and to say, stop the abuse.
“This will take us all working together across all of civic Scotland.”
For two days prior to the launch MSPs had been signing up to the pledge. Among them was Alex Neil MSP, Minister for Housing and Communities who said:
“Violence against women affects all of us in Scotland, not only the women and children who directly experience it or those that fear it, but also their families, communities and our economy.
“I am pleased to support the STOP campaign because violence against women must be eradicated if we are to have the Scotland to which we aspire.”
The campaign is part of the worldwide 16 days of activism on violence against women. The GMB /Scottish Women's Aid website can be found at http://www.togetherwecanstopit.org
For more information contact Andrea Pearson firstname.lastname@example.org on 0141 241 6343 / 0776 967 6899 (out of hours)
Pictures and video content of the campaign materials are available to view or download here:
Notes to editors:
1. The website, films and campaign poster was presented to MSPs at a reception in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday November 25, from 6pm to 8pm.
2. Speakers at the reception included: Lily Greenan, manager of Scottish Women’s Aid; Alex Neil MSP, Minister for Housing and Communities; Cathy Peattie MSP, convenor of Cross Party Group on Men's Violence against women and children; and Harry Donaldson, GMB Scotland Secretary.
3. Scottish Women’s Aid (SWA) is Scotland’s leading authority on domestic abuse. 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/
4. Scottish Women’s Aid is a company limited by guarantee, registered company no SC128433 and a registered charity, charity number SC001099.
5. This month sees the start of Scottish Women’s Aid 35th year working towards an end to domestic abuse in Scotland. There will be events held throughout the year to mark the anniversary.
6. The campaign website can be found at http://www.togetherwecanstopit.org with media downloads of posters and other materials at http://www.togetherwecanstopit.org/media/
7. The online pledge button enables people to make a promise on taking take action against domestic abuse. The website’s counter indicates the number of people who have made the pledge.
8. The ten things website visitors are encouraged to do are:
1. Sign up to the pledge
2. Tell people domestic abuse is not OK.
3. Tell your children that domestic abuse is not OK.
4. If you know someone who is experiencing domestic abuse, listen and support them.
5. Tell people about the organisations that are there to help.
6. Learn about domestic abuse and what causes it.
7. Put campaign leaflets or a posters in your workplace or somewhere local.
8. Write to your councillor, MSP or MP and ask them what they are doing to stop domestic abuse.
9. Join the White Ribbon campaign for men and boys who want to speak out against domestic abuse.
10. Write in to the website with examples of ways you helped to stop domestic abuse.