Publication - Impact assessment

Equally Safe strategy: draft EQIA

Published: 7 Jan 2019

Draft equality impact assessment (EQIA) of Scotland's strategy for preventing and eradicating violence against women and girls.

35 page PDF

455.0 kB

35 page PDF

455.0 kB

Equally Safe strategy: draft EQIA
Stage 1: Framing

35 page PDF

455.0 kB

Stage 1: Framing

Results of framing exercise

A key commitment in Equally Safe was to develop an implementation plan. The purpose of this is to ensure that the ambitions of the Strategy are rooted in practical delivery at all levels of society that makes a tangible difference to the lives of women, girls, children and young people. The Delivery Plan contains a number of actions, designed to give effect to the priorities and objectives of Equally Safe. The plan contributes to a range of other Government initiatives, including the Action Plan for a Fairer Scotland, the Justice Strategy and the Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy and sits alongside our work to tackle discrimination, promote equality, give children and young people the best start in life and build a fairer Scotland.

We have a range of evidence sources to inform our interventions and understanding of the current position and progress towards our goals:

  • In 2017-18 there were 59,541 incidents of domestic abuse recorded by the police in Scotland, an increase of 1% from the previous year. Levels of domestic abuse recorded by the police have remained relatively stable since 2011-12 at around 58,000 to 60,000 incidents a year (and up by 20% since 48,884 in 2006-07). Where gender information was recorded, around four out of every five incidents of domestic abuse in 2017-18 had a female victim and a male accused. This proportion has remained very stable since 2011-12.
  • Rape & attempted rape accounted for 18% of Sexual crimes. In 2017-18 there were 2,255 recorded incidents of rape a 20% increase from 1,878 in 2016-76. There has been a upward trend in these crimes since 2010-11 with Rape & attempted rape increasing by 99% overall between 2010-11 and 2016-17. Where identifiable, the vast majority of victims of rape, attempted rape and 'other sexual crime' were female and the perpetrators were male.'
  • There has been a significant increase in the proportion of 'Other sexual crimes' that were cyber enabled (i.e. the internet was used as a means to commit the crime) - increasing from 38% in 2013-14 to 51% in 2016-17. For both cyber enabled crimes and non-cyber enabled crimes of this type, more than 80% of victims were female and around 95% of perpetrators were male in 2016-17.
  • Almost three-quarters of the victims of cyber enabled crime in 2016/17 were under 16). Perpetrators also tended to be much younger where sexual crimes were cyber enabled, with a quarter under 16 and more than half under 20.
  • For all homicides recorded in the last ten years, just over half (52%) of the female victims aged between 16 and 70 years were killed by their partner or ex-partner, 28% were killed by an acquaintance and 8% were killed by a stranger. For male victims aged 16 to 70 years, only 6% were killed by their partner or ex-partner.
  • In 2017, the UK National Referral Mechanism (NRM) received 207 referrals of potential victims (PV) where the referral was subsequently sent to Police Scotland for crime recording considerations; this represents a 38% increase on 2016 referral totals and 4% of all UK referrals to the NRM. The 207 referrals were comprised of 87 females (42%) and 120 males (58%). There were 144 (70%) individuals referred for adult exploitation categories and 63 (30%) referred for exploitation as a minor.
  • The 2014 social attitudes survey on public attitudes towards violence against women findings told us that people are less likely to recognise verbal abuse and controlling behaviour (as opposed to physical abuse) as being wrong and harmful, and there are circumstances under which people view abusive behaviours as less serious (e.g. an extramarital affair has occurred). People tend to think that sex without consent is less seriously wrong or harmful if perpetrated by the victim's spouse than by someone she has just met. More than a third of people believe common myths about rape, and people are much less likely to be negative about commercial sexual exploitation than about the other forms of violence against women. Stereotypical views on gender roles persist, and those who hold stereotypical views on gender roles are consistently less likely to view a wide range of abusive behaviours as wrong or harmful.
  • Attitudes of young people showed they were less likely than adults to think the various kinds of violence against women that they were asked about were very seriously wrong, or to think that they would cause a great deal of harm. In some cases, the extent to which young people appear to hold more permissive views than adults about violence against women is striking. Stereotypical gender views played a role in this.

Equally Safe – Consultation on a Draft Delivery Plan 2017-21

The Scottish Government Consultation on the draft Delivery Plan for 'Equally Safe: Scotland's strategy for preventing and eradicating violence against women and girls' ran from 23 March 2017 to 30 June 2017. There were 79 responses: 67 from organisations and 12 from individuals.

Most respondents were generally supportive of the Delivery Plan and what it was trying to achieve (between 58% and 66% agreed with the actions listed). However respondents suggested a number of wsays to improve the Delivery Plan. Including the following most relevant to the EQIA:

When asked what was missing, many of the same themes recurred:

Who it should cover – More emphasis on intersectionality / additional vulnerabilities faced by women with certain protected characteristics; greater emphasis on children, and clarity that both boys and girls are covered by the plan.

Some respondents felt that more needed to be said in relation to the intersection between gender and other protected characteristics. Women might be more likely to experience violence or abuse as a result of these characteristics, to face additional barriers and therefore require additional support. It was also mentioned that different interventions might be required across a woman's life course from girls/young woman up to older age.

Particular groups of women where it was felt more focus was required included:

  • Those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI)
  • Those who have a disability or learning disability
  • Those from black and ethnic minority (BME) communities..
  • Those with no recourse to public funds (NRPF) due to their migration status
  • Those with English as a second language
  • Women in poverty
  • Those who have been looked after
  • Those affected by commercial sexual exploitation (CSE)
  • Those with caring responsibilities

It was suggested that the priority 3 actions should be more inclusive of LGBT people, minority ethnic women and women with learning disabilities as these groups can face additional barriers to accessing support.

As a result of the consultation, work was undertaken to strengthen the intersectionality of the Equally Safe delivery plan in advance of publication in November 2017.

Collaborative Working

The Equally Safe Strategy also made a commitment to establish four work streams(primary prevention, capability and capacity, Justice and accountability); all focused on different areas, with membership drawn from a wide range of partners with a wealth of experience and informed by the experience of women, girls, children and young people who have been subject to violence or abuse.

Each work stream met on a number of occasions to progress the development of contributions to the Delivery Plan.


20th September 2017 a joint event was held with the Council of Ethnic Minority Voluntary Sector Organisations (CEMVO) and their ethnic minority women's network and the Scottish Government.

The aim of the event was to engage with the CEMVO ethnic minority women's network to identify any specific barriers experienced by minority ethnic communities, in their experience of gender based violence, so these can be accounted for in the Equally Safe Delivery Plan.

There were a number of suggestions from the work shop that were considered and taken into consideration before the Delivery Plan was published in November 2017 in order to ensure that the Scottish Government took cognisance of the points raised, many of which were incorporated/reflected in the final version of the Delivery Plan.

Extent/Level of EQIA required

As a result of the framing exercise, a full EQIA was carried out.


Email: Kirstin McPhee