Eradicating violence against women and girls

Strategy highlights priority areas.

As the United Nations campaign of 16 days of activism around violence against women begins, the Scottish Government has highlighted the actions it has taken to tackle the issue.

A year on from publication of the Scottish Government and COSLA’s ‘Equally Safe’ strategy, a progress report describes what has been achieved so far as well as work for the coming months and years.  This includes:

  • Passing The Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018, marking a watershed moment in which the destructive impact of coercive and controlling behaviour is recognised by the law.
  • Providing significant additional funding of £1.5m for Rape Crisis Centres to speed up access to support for survivors.
  • Expanding the innovative Caledonian Programme that works with men convicted of domestic abuse related offences to help reduce their reoffending.
  • Expanding the delivery of the Rape Crisis Sexual Violence Prevention Programme in schools, to increase understanding of consent and healthy relationships.

Welcoming the progress made, 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.”  

Dr Marsha Scott, Chief Executive of Scottish Women’s Aid, said:

“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.

“16 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.”                                                      


The Scottish Government and COSLA’s Equally Safe strategy sets out the Scottish Government’s commitment to prevent and eradicate all forms of violence against women and girls.  A Delivery Plan to take this forward was published on 24 November 2017.

The Delivery Plan contains 118 different actions across 4 priority areas, many of which have either been completed or are currently underway.  The Year One Progress Report is available here.

More information on the United Nations Campaign is available here.


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