Violence against Women and Girls update from East and Midlothian Public Protection Office

This March edition mainly focuses on the current difficult situation, particularly as it is widely recognised that with families having to stay at home with limited access to support networks and services the levels of domestic abuse, particularly coercive control, and other forms of gender based violence are likely to be much higher, so that survivors and children will be at greater risk.

Please note that if you can’t use the control click on the hyperlinks you can right click and open hyperlink. As ever please share on through your teams and networks.  Please let me know if you find this useful – yes or no – and improvements you’d like to see.  

SUPPORT AND ADVICE FOR WOMEN AND SERVICES IN THE COVID-19 CIRCUMSTANCES

Our East Lothian and Midlothian services for domestic abuse and sexual abuse continue to operate with virtual / phone contact, refuges are in operation. Our MARACs continue to operate via phone-conferencing / interim guidance will be out shortly.  

The EMPPC website is live again (had been down for some weeks): the VAWG page will have a summary of services and contacts during this critical time – within the next couple of days.

The Scottish Women’s Rights Centre list of support available for women experiencing abuse during COVID-19: useful helplines and sources of support for all aspects of VAWG including for women with no recourse to public funds …

SafeLives advice – includes a useful podcast from a survivor about what she might have done – survivors might do now / briefing for MPs with this list of policy recommendations

Safe & Together Model COVID-19 Quick Guide – Specific practice strategies related to understanding domestic violence perpetration in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic including a checklist to be used in combination with Safe & Together training and mapping tool. This is a useful summary of the risks so worth downloading.  Keep an eye on their website for more information. There is a virtual academy which will be open to people who have completed Core Training and above.

Engender Briefing Women and Covid-19:  the ways in which gender impacts on COVID-19, and critical issues for decision-makers to consider. The recommendations are useful for local policy

Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Violence against Women and Girls, VAWG Helpdesk Research Report 284, UK AID – Research question: What is the evidence of how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic might impact on violence against women and girls (VAWG)?  Please draw on any emerging global evidence from the current outbreak in corona virus, as well as other similar epidemics? (e.g. Ebola)

Centre for Women’s Global Leadership / Feminist Alliance for Rights – Call for a Feminist Covid-19 policy: Statement of Feminists and Women’s Rights Organizations from the Global South and marginalized communities in the Global North – this is still in development but an interesting read on the far-reaching impact of the pandemic on  sex/gender/equalities and many of the policy recommendations are useful. You can support the call on a personal or organisational basis.

GENERAL INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

Scottish Government Equally Safe Bulletin Issue 117 – full of interesting updates on the delivery of Equally Safe. unfortunately there is no weblink so attached above.

Click service newsletter  – for more information please contact Githa Overton, Click Women’s Worker, Tel: 0131 622 7500, Email: Goverton@sacro.org.uk

CLiCK is a partnership of women’s organisations working together to provide  online and face-to-face support to any woman who sells or exchanges sex online in Scotland (e.g. advertising escorting services on sites like AdultWork, webcamming, or using private galleries). CLiCK was established in response to the changing nature of the sex industry in Scotland, as it continues to shift from onstreet to indoors and online. In addition, support services for women tend to be concentrated to the major cities with provisions for women who sell or exchange sex on-street – meaning that there was significant gaps in service provision in rural areas.

A Woman’s Place: Gender, Housing and Homelessness in Scotland , Engender March 2020: the report explores the way in which women are almost entirely invisible in policies and strategies for realising housing rights and preventing homelessness. Home is something many of us take for granted, but for many women a safe and secure home is out of reach, with systems failing to consider their needs.  The report highlights that while women in Scotland make up the majority of lone parents and carers, are far more likely to be living in poverty, and spend a far higher proportion of their income on accommodation than men, they are not represented in the discourse around housing. Homelessness, too, is repeatedly seen as a problem predominantly affecting men, despite the fact women’s homelessness simply looks different to men’s – rough-sleeping in less busy areas for safety, hiding their homelessness for fear of losing children, and (re)entering abusive housing situations.  Linking in with other issues of women’s inequality, such as violence against women, social security, and the intersections between sexism, racism and disability, the report calls for the gendering of Scotland’s housing frameworks to create systems which work for women.

On International Women’s Day, Engender asked women across Scotland to share their days with us to highlighting the unpaid, undervalued, and invisible work done by women in Scotland. Check out our round-up here  for some of the tweets and blogs which were shared with us.

UPSTREAM  Stop It Now! Scotland with funding from the Scottish Government has developed an online resource for the general public about the prevention of child sexual abuse in Scotland, launched 4th December 2019. The ‘Upstream’  website has practical information and resources that adults such as parents and carers can use to identify potential risk as early as possible and take steps to prevent sexual abuse from occurring. It has an engaging communities  section designed for professionals, safeguarding leads, or anyone in a public facing role who may want to use the resources in public engagement contexts.  The website’s tools and information aim to enable you to:

  • recognise the signs or behaviours that might indicate that sexual abuse might be about to happen
  • take action if they are worried about the behaviour of an adult or a child, and
  • have accurate information to help them to speak to others about this subject

Contact:   Willie Manson I Project Manager, The Lucy Faithfull Foundation | Stop It Now! Scotland, +44 (0)131 556 3535 / scotland@stopitnow.org.uk

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