Scottish Women’s Aid awarded contract.
Equalities Minister Christina McKelvie confirmed the support as she met Scottish Woman’s Aid staff who run the Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage helpline.
Ms McKelvie said:
“Domestic abuse and forced marriage are fundamental violations of an individual’s human rights and we are committed to supporting survivors. This helpline offers support and potential routes out of abuse.”
“We want anyone experiencing domestic abuse or feeling trapped into an unwanted marriage to have somewhere to turn to for help and advice. The £1.7 million we are providing over the next two years will ensure more people are supported and protected and can access the emotional and practical support they need.”
Lydia Okroj, Helpline Manager at Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline said:
“We are delighted to have secured this tender, and we are looking forward to working with partners to continue to provide a high quality, specialist service to survivors of domestic abuse and forced marriage in Scotland.
“Domestic abuse and forced marriage are both isolating and frightening experiences and no-one should go through them alone; our helpline is there to ensure that no-one has to. We want to make sure that our number is known by everyone like another emergency service, giving a lifeline to those who need it.
“As the implementation of Scotland’s new Domestic Abuse Act gets closer our helpline has already seen an increase in calls where callers recognise the harm caused by emotional and other non-physical abuse. This funding brings with it the potential for reaching and supporting more people than ever before, and that is exactly what we plan to do.”
A tender process began in 2018 for the next £1.7 million contract to deliver the helpline, a two year contract with three single year optional extensions. Scottish Women’s Aid, which holds the contract up to 31 March 2019, secured the further award.
The helpline is available to anyone experiencing domestic abuse or the threat of forced marriage. Staff are trained in LGBT experiences of domestic abuse and will signpost male survivors to the Respect helpline, which specialises in supporting men and their experiences of domestic abuse. The helpline is available 24/7 on 0800 027 1234.