"As First Minister, I want to ensure that Scotland leads the way, that the generations of women and girls that come after me grow up with equal opportunities in a truly equal society."
First Minister of Scotland (January 2020)
We are pleased to present the Year 3 report for Equally Safe, our strategy to prevent and eradicate violence against women and girls, which contains details of important milestones and achievements over the lifetime of the strategy. It reflects progress and challenges over the last year, much of which has taken place in the unprecedented climate of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Equally Safe was originally developed by the Scottish Government and COSLA in association with a wide range of partners from public and third sector organisations and was first published in June 2014, with an updated version published in March 2016.
The strategy provides an overarching framework for change and outlines our vision for a Scotland in which every women and girl is safe and free from gender based violence in all its forms. In order to help us implement this vision, we published our Equally Safe delivery plan in November 2017 which promotes a collaborative approach that recognises the different roles and expertise of organisations from the public, private and third sectors. The delivery plan contains a clear outcomes framework with indicators to demonstrate progress nationally and locally towards preventing and reducing this violence and tackling the pervasive inequalities that create the conditions for it. There has been significant activity and progress in relation to a number of actions contained within the Delivery Plan and some key pieces of work are highlighted within this report.
However, we are clear that there remains much to do if we are to realise our ambition to make Scotland truly Equally Safe. There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic and social harms caused has highlighted the importance of continuing to work together to ensure women and children receive the crucial support that they need and that perpetrators of this violence are held to account.
This strategy demands major and sustained change but we firmly believe that, by continuing to work together to deliver on our shared commitments, we can realise our ambition of preventing and eradicating violence against women and girls. We can
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.
Christina McKelvie MSP
Minister for Older People
Councillor Kelly Parry