Violence against Women and Girls – Covid-19 May update

From Veronica Campanile…Dear East Lothian and Midlothian VAWG local network

Once again the main focus is on VAWG within the context of Covid-19.


  1. Midlothian MYPAS: Young Men’s Therapeutic project is now able to take referrals for online support.  We are offering online support via Zoom meeting, computer gaming or through telephone for young men in Midlothian age 12-21. These forms of engagement would involve taking the time to talk confidentially with a young men’s therapeutic worker. We are able to start working with these referrals immediately (currently no waiting list).  MORE INFORMATION  /  REFERRAL FORM
  • Information for the public on OUR local VAWG services at  – contact Veronica for  How frontline services can support survivors (not on website)
  •  Supplementary VAW Guidance, Scottish Government, CoSLA, Public Health Scotland, Improvement Service – The COVID-19 pandemic, and the measures now in place to control the spread of the coronavirus, are no excuse for the perpetration of violence against women and girls (VAWG). However, they may create an environment whereby the risks to women, children and young people suffering or recovering from domestic abuse and other forms of VAWG are heightened in local communities across Scotland – the aim of the supplementary guidance is to ensure that a sustainable, joined-up approach to safeguarding the needs of women, children and young people experiencing VAWG during COVID-19 is embedded at a local strategic level. Specifically, it aims to: 

– Ensure local decision-makers are aware of the suite of COVID-19 guidance that has been developed nationally that will be relevant to supporting women, children and young people affected by VAWG, and tackling perpetrators of that abuse;4 

– Highlight risks to women, children and young people affected by VAWG in the: Short term (during periods of lockdown and other social restrictions);  Medium term (as restrictions are lifted and we move towards recovery); and Long term (as partners transition to a ‘new normal’);

– Support local decision-makers to identify short-, medium- and long-terms actions to mitigate risks to women, children and young people as a result of COVID-19 and begin to support early planning for the post-pandemic period in order to ensure women, children and young people’s recovery needs are recognised and addressed at a strategic level.

Full Document  /   Executive Summary Document

  • Scottish Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline has an excellent range of leaflets with advice for survivors during Covid-19  on:
  • Safety planning – whether you are planning on staying in your home, thinking of leaving, or looking for ways to get help
  • Accommodation options – if you are thinking about staying somewhere else
  • Reporting to the police – including how to do this, and what should happen if you do
  • Child contact – how the coronavirus rules might affect any arrangements that you have in place
  • Finding a Solicitor – if you have questions about how to find a solicitor
  • Stalking and harassment – things that you can think about if this is escalating during the lockdown
  • Mental health – where to find information and support with your mental health and wellbeing
  • CLiCK Helpline – CLiCK has launched a new helpline that women who sell/exchange sex or images online can use to get in touch with a CLiCK Women’s Worker.

The Helpline number is 0300 124 5564 and is available during the following times:  Tuesday: 3pm-5pm  / Wednesday: 11am-7pm / Thursday: 6pm-9pm  / Saturday: 12pm-2pm.  Please share this launch on social media: The Twitter announcement is available here and the attached graphic can be shared. Find CLiCK on:  Twitter: @click_scotland  / Facebook: / Instagram: @click_scotland

  • Covid-19 Home fire safety checklist, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, highlighting risks with people spending more time at home – attached
  • Psychological First Aid – the link to the infographic wasn’t right last month  and I can’t find the source – however, here is a link to the a brief presentation which incorporates it
  • Edinburgh University’s Generation Scotland team and network are urgently researching the effect the Covid-19 situation – and the government’s policies regarding it – are having on the lives of people in the U.K., and, importantly, who is being affected. It is a major survey of which interim results are already beginning to have an impact at national policy level in Scotland.  The Health Equity Network have circulated this request as a further boost  by helping to distribute the survey and encouraging completion of it across all diverse adult groups in the UK – this will be much appreciated and will hopefully also have a significant impact on informing improved policy making for the benefit of all groups. The survey can be found here. –
  •  Covid-19: Gathering and using data to ensure that the response integrates women’s equality and rights, Engender Scotland – In this short briefing we set out the key features of gender-sensitive sex-disaggregated data and what we think this should mean for the data gathered and analysed by Scottish Government and other public bodies at this critical time.


  1.  Jurisdictional approaches to Child Contact where there are issues of Domestic Abuse,  Scottish Government Justice Analytical Services Covid Research and Intelligence– attached
  2.  Safe and Together COVID-19 specific blogs:
  3. Using a perpetrator pattern assessment in this context
  4. Custody and access issues related to COVID-19
  5. Now is not the time for child welfare to lose focus on domestic violence
  6. How the pandemic gives us new opportunities to reach out to men
  7. Specific episodes of our Partnered with a Survivor Podcast 
  1.  COVID-19 and domestic violence: Caring States?, ESID, 30 April 2020 – ESID’s expert Sohela Nasneen, on the politics of domestic violence sets out vital ways that states can address domestic violence during the Covid-19 lockdown. This brief article looking mainly at domestic abuse in developing countries, however, the policy recommendations are useful here also.
  1.  COVID 19 and the Impact on Gender and Sexuality 21 May 20, Susie Joly, IDS: interesting international perspective covering also the impact on equalities,  has useful links.

VAWG Resources

  1.  Why Violence Against Women and Girls is Public Health Issue Conference 25/11/19  – Conference Learning Report

The Improvement Service, COSLA and NHS Health Scotland held this national conference with support from the Public Health Reform team and the National Violence Against Women Network to highlight why violence against women (VAW) is a public health issue. It brought together a wide range of delegates from across the VAW and public health sectors to explore opportunities to adopt a public health approach to tackling VAW and gender inequality in Scotland and the leadership needed at a local and national level to support this shift. We had excellent speakers from both the VAW and public health sectors who set the context for the day. The workshops focused on developing a theory of change for each Public Health priority to embed VAWG going forward.

  1.  Safe and Together –
  2. New page for Resources for Family and Friends. It includes our ground-breaking Family and Friends Ally Guide, which was created out of the direct experiences of survivors of domestic violence, coercive control and child abuse. It outlines what survivors wish their friends and family had known or done to assist them to safety and healing. It’s also useful for practitioners who are working with families. This page has links to resources, including social media image posts you can download and use on your own platform.   
  3. Partnered with a Survivor Podcast on the Safe & Together Institute’s Family and Friends Ally Guide. David Mandel interviews Ruth Stearns Mandel about this new resource for friends and family. They discuss the ideas behind the guide including how to behaviorally identify coercive control and domestic violence in the life of their loved one. 
  4. Virtual Practice Support Group Tips developed from conversations with over 100 practitioners from across the globe. These innovative tips have been compiled from the experience of front line multi-agency practitioners in response to the challenges of supporting families during the pandemic.
  5. Partnered with a Survivor Podcast with Luke and Ryan Hart whose mother and sister were killed by their father following many years of coercive control. Luke and Ryan explore the specific parallels between their story and the current context of the pandemic and share some of the ways they resisted their father’s control and maintained their sanity through small rituals of connection.
  6. David Mandel White paper: Assessing perpetrator behavior change and why Perpetrator Intervention Program Completion Certificates are Dangerous
  7.   Zero Suicide Alliance , free on-line suicide awareness training – equivalent of SafeTALK.

Veronica Campanile, Violence Against Women and Girls Coordinator

East Lothian and Midlothian Public Protection Office, Room F28 Brunton Hall, 16 Ladywell Way, Musselburgh EH21 6AF

Direct tel: 01620 827475  Mobile: 07540 101 227 / EMPPO Tel: 0131 653 5150 / /

Further reading

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