Funding will also tackle illegal sharing of intimate images on the internet.
More than £615,000 is being invested by the Scottish Government in a range of projects, including support for women involved in prostitution.
The money includes more than £421,000 for the Women’s Support Project, a Glasgow-based charity which aims to tackle commercial sexual exploitation.
Over £83,000 will go to community justice organisation Sacro – including support for an Edinburgh-based project to improve the health, safety and wellbeing of women involved in prostitution.
And more than £110,000 will go to the UK charity South West Grid for Learning Trust to help fund the roll out of its Revenge Porn Helpline across Scotland and to further its work to get illegal intimate images removed from the internet.
Minister for Community Safety Ash Regan said:
“This funding signals the Scottish Government’s unwavering commitment to challenging all forms of men’s violence against women and progress our outcomes in the Equally Safe Strategy.
“Prostitution is a form of violence against women. The harsh reality of the risks commonly encountered are violence, sexual victimisation, poor mental health and sexual health, manipulation and sexual exploitation.
“The pandemic, stigma and the hidden nature of prostitution has created further barriers to getting help and I am therefore pleased to announce this additional funding for specialist services, designed specifically for women involved in prostitution and those who have experienced illegal images being uploaded to the internet.
"This money brings our total dedicated funding to support women involved in prostitution to £700,000 since June this year and is part of the Scottish Government’s overarching ambition to develop a model for Scotland which effectively tackles men’s demand for prostitution.”
National Coordinator of the Women’s Support Project Heather Williams said:
“We welcome the Scottish Governments commitment to addressing the needs of women involved in selling or exchanging sex or images and the continued recognition of this as form of violence against women and girls.
“This funding will help ensure women are able to access specialist support to address their practical and emotional needs, it will also contribute to work to raise awareness of the impact of commercial sexual exploitation and help improve practice within statutory services based on what women have told us they need.”
Gender Based Violence Services Manager for Sacro’s Another Way programme Sue Waddington said:
“We appreciate the commitment shown by the Scottish Government in funding specialist services that tackle the impact of commercial sexual exploitation.
“The funding has enabled workers from our Another Way project to continue delivering the service, but also to shape, grow and respond to meet the needs of this hard to reach group of women.”
The Scottish Government’s definition of violence against women includes prostitution and is set out in our Equally Safe Strategy.
This year’s Programme for Government commits the Scottish Government to developing a model for Scotland which effectively tackles this behaviour and we are now taking this work forward. As part of that work, we will learn from other jurisdictions and international approaches and engage with those with lived experience to help shape and strengthen services.
The funding announcement of £615,435 through the Delivering Equally Safe Fund includes:
- £83,365 to Sacro for funding for the core costs associated with the delivery of two gender based violence services: Another Way which works to improve the health, safety and wellbeing of women affected by commercial sexual exploitation and FearFree which works with men, LGBT+ and non-binary people affected by domestic abuse
- £421,248 to the Women’s Support Project to support the Scottish Government and Equally Safe partners to tackle commercial sexual exploitation and female genital mutilation
- £110,822 to the South West Grid for Learning Trust Ltd to support those affected by intimate image abuse (sometimes referred to as revenge porn), which affects approximately 23,000 women in Scotland. This funding will enable the trust to expand its Revenge Porn Helpline across Scotland and working with service providers to get illegal intimate images removed and referring women to local support organisations
Read more about the application process for the fund.