Friday, 2 May 2014

Tackling violence against women

SNP councillors will this week discuss North Ayrshire Council’s work towards tackling domestic abuse in the local area.

Officials will set-out plans for an over-arching review of domestic abuse services as part of a strategy targeted at violence against women. The initiative will run for the next three years.

In addition, the local authority’s Cabinet will hear how Council developments will feed into the SNP Scottish Government’s national strategy for tackling violence against women.

Between 2003/04 and 2011/12 the rate of domestic abuse incidents responded to by Police in North Ayrshire increased by 90.5% - from 996 to 1,897 in the respective years. However, following a range of initiatives operated by the Council, partner agencies and support groups, the number of incidents has fallen for the first time since 2003/04. The figure dropped by 77 in 2012/13 compared with the previous 12 months, which represents a 4.2% reduction.

Despite the reduction, though, North Ayrshire continues to have Scotland’s highest level of reported incidents of domestic abuse. Worryingly, the Council records that the high rate of domestic abuse has not translated into increased ‘homeless’ applications for housing, indicating that in many cases victims are remaining in the home where abuse has occurred.

North Ayrshire Women’s Aid reports that in 2012/13, 95 women and 60 children stayed in local refuges operated by the charity. In addition, 588 women were provided with counselling support.

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