Supporting survivors of violence and abuse

Almost 20,000 people given emotional and practical support.

A new fund for those affected by violence against women and girls has supported nearly 20,000 survivors in its first six months.

The Delivering Equally Safe (DES) fund provided £9.5 million to 121 projects in its first six months. These projects give one-to-one emotional and practical support, as well as refuge, legal or financial advice and other services. Many of the organisations also run training and outreach programmes aiming to prevent violence against women and girls.

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.

Ms McKelvie 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.

“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.”

Heather Russell, Chief Executive of WASLER (Women’s Aid South Lanarkshire and East Renfrewshire), said:

“The importance of funding and sustainable funding for our sector cannot be understated. Limits on service delivery and development of services to meet the true needs of women, children and young people we support is a daily grind. It makes the funding of our Saoirse service all the more essential.

“Delivering Equally Safe funding has allowed us to partner two distinct specialisms to develop a needs-led initiative. In bringing together specialist domestic abuse and substance use support services we are able to provide holistic support for women facing multiple and complex challenges.

“The very decision to fund this new partnership illustrates a strategic understanding of domestic abuse and its dynamics. Without DES funding we simply would be unable to deliver prescribed support to women who through no fault of their own need it. Gender-based violence is a threat to the lives of women and girls. Any funding for specialist organisations to support recovery and empowerment of those women is another life saved.”

Kaylie Allen, Director of Funds, Inspiring Scotland, said:

“Organisations funded through Delivering Equally Safe deliver vital support for people experiencing gender-based violence alongside crucial education and prevention work.

“We are proud to work with this diverse group of organisations as Fund Managers for the Scottish Government, and are pleased the immense work of the funded groups can be acknowledged through this report. We want to thank funded groups for their hard work reporting on the impact of their activity.

“The learning gained from their reporting confirms not only the difference they are making to the lives of women and children across Scotland, but also the increasing demand for the services they offer.”


A report on the first six months of the Delivering Equally Safe Fund has been published by Inspiring Scotland.

The fund is managed by Inspiring Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government. Funded projects cover every local authority area in Scotland. 

The fund supports the work of the Equally Safe Strategy, which underpins Scotland’s approach to preventing and eradicating violence against women and girls.


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