Equally Safe 2018: Scotland's strategy to eradicate violence against women

A joint Scottish Government and COSLA strategy to prevent and eradicate violence against women and girls in Scotland. This publication was updated in 2023.

This is the 2018 version of the strategy. Read Equally Safe 2023.

Equally Safe: Scotland's strategy for preventing and eradicating violence against women and girls

'There is one universal truth, applicable to all countries, cultures and communities: violence against women is never acceptable, never excusable, never tolerable.'

United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon


  • A strong and flourishing Scotland where all individuals are equally safe and respected, and where women and girls live free from all forms of violence and abuse – and the attitudes that help perpetuate it

Aim of Equally Safe

  • To work collaboratively with key partners in the public, private and third sectors to prevent and eradicate all forms of violence against women and girls


  • Scottish society embraces equality and mutual respect, and rejects all forms of violence against women and girls
  • Women and girls thrive as equal citizens – socially, culturally, economically and politically
  • Interventions are early and effective, preventing violence and maximising the safety and wellbeing of women, children and young people
  • Men desist from all forms of violence against women and girls, and perpetrators of such violence receive a robust and effective response


  • Positive gender roles are promoted
  • Women and girls are safe, respected and equal in our communities
  • People enjoy healthy, positive relationships and children develop an understanding of safe, healthy, and positive relationships from an early age
  • Individuals and communities recognise and challenge violent and abusive behaviour
  • Women and men have equal access to power and resources
  • Justice responses are robust, swift, consistent and coordinated
  • Women, children and young people access relevant, effective and integrated services
  • Men who carry out violence against women and girls are identified early and held to account by the justice system
  • Service providers competently identify violence against women and girls, and respond effectively to women, children and young people affected
  • Men who carry out violence against women and girls change their behaviour, and are supported to do so
  • Women, children and young people's voices are heard and their rights respected
  • Relevant links are made between the experience of women,children and young people in the criminal and civil justice systems

National Outcomes

  • We live our lives free from crime, disorder and danger
  • We have tackled the significant inequalities in Scottish society
  • We have strong resilient and supportive communities where people take responsibility for their own actions and how they affect others
  • Our children have the best start in life and are ready to succeed
  • We have improved the life chances for children, young people and families at risk
  • Our public services are high quality, continually improving, efficient and responsive to people's needs
  • We realise our full economic potential with more and better employment opportunities for our people
  • We live longer healthier lives


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