Fund supporting victims of violence helped 20,000 Scots in six months

The fund will be bolstered with more than £38m, due to be distributed to support projects by September next year.

Fund to help survivors of violence against women and girls in Scotland helped 20,000 people in six months iStock

A fund for survivors of violence against women and girls helped 20,000 people in six months, it has been announced.

The Delivering Equally Safe (DES) fund provided £9.5m to 121 projects in its first six months, offering one-to-one emotional and practical support, as well as refuge, legal or financial advice and other services.

More than £38m is due to be distributed by September next year.

Many of the organisations also run training and outreach programmes aiming to prevent violence against women and girls.

Figures for 2020-21 show the number of domestic abuse incidents recorded by police rose for the fifth year in a row, to total 65,251.

Equalities minister Christina McKelvie visited the Saoirse project in Blantyre, run jointly by the charities WASLER and Liber8, to learn how it supports women in Lanarkshire who have been affected by both substance use and domestic abuse.

She said: “The projects supported through our Delivering Equally Safe fund offer a lifeline to survivors of violence and abuse.

“Tackling violence against women and girls is a core priority for the Scottish Government, and this fund is a key element ensuring innovative projects can support survivors and tackle the root causes of violence and abuse.”

McKelvie continued: “I have been moved and inspired by conversations with the women supported by Saoirse.

“By bringing together specialist services for both domestic abuse and substance use, Saoirse targets the multiple, complex issues that these women may be going through, helping them rebuild their lives.

“This is just one of 121 projects across Scotland that we are supporting through this fund.

“I am deeply grateful to all the organisations involved for the extraordinary work they do, and for supporting 20,000 survivors in just six months.”

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