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Domestic abuse action plan to be extended in Scotland

The Equally Safe strategy includes measures to teach children the importance of consent.

Stop: Programmes are in place to help eradicate violence against women.
Stop: Programmes are in place to help eradicate violence against women. PA

An action plan to tackle violence against women in Scotland is to be expanded.

The Equally Safe strategy launched last year included measures to teach school children the importance of consent and healthy relationships.

Now as part of a United Nations campaign of 16 days of activism around violence against women, the Scottish Government has highlighted actions taken and schemes to be expanded.

The Caledonian Programme that works with men convicted of domestic abuse-related offences is to be extended to help cut re-offending, while the Rape Crisis Sexual Violence Prevention Programme will also be taken to more schools.

Additional funding for rape crisis centres was announced last month.

Equalities Minister Christina McKelvie said: "The UN campaign provides an opportunity to focus on violence against women and girls, which remains a very real problem in societies across the world.

"Along with other ministers, I will be taking part in a number of events over the 16 days to highlight the actions being taken to tackle this issue.

"Our progress report provides evidence of the work undertaken so far and the work planned for the future. This includes running a campaign to raise awareness of coercive control and domestic abuse to coincide with the implementation of the Domestic Abuse Act, and convening a roundtable on what more can be done to tackle online abuse and misogyny.

"We are determined to work with others to create a Scotland to be proud of, where all of our citizens are Equally Safe and violence against women and girls is consigned to history."

'Though we have come a long way - and in many ways Scotland leads in efforts to eliminate violence against women - we have a long way to go before women's equality is achieved'
Dr Marsha Scott, chief executive of Scottish Women's Aid

Dr Marsha Scott, chief executive of Scottish Women's Aid, added: "One woman experiencing domestic abuse is one too many.

"To know that across Scotland there are many thousands living in fear is not something as a country that we can tolerate or accept.

"Sixteen Days of Action is an international campaign with an important message. A message that each and every one of us can and should be part of the movement to end violence against women and girls.

"Though we have come a long way - and in many ways Scotland leads in efforts to eliminate violence against women - we have a long way to go before women's equality is achieved.

"For as long as that inequality exists so too will the harassment, abuse and violence that we experience. And so too will the work of Scottish Women's Aid, and the wider sector, so that women in Scotland have equal opportunity to explore all their ambitions and aspirations, and live their lives free from fear, violence and abuse."

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