Ruth Maguire MSP gave her support to a national campaign which is being relaunched to reassure anyone experiencing domestic abuse that support is available to them during these difficult times.
Social isolation measures put in place to tackle coronavirus (COVID-19) may be adding pressure to those in abusive domestic situations.
Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said:
“These are unsettling times for everyone but I want to be absolutely clear that anyone experiencing domestic abuse in the home is not alone. While they may feel isolated and vulnerable, help is still available round the clock.
“We have heard that victims may feel like they don’t want to bother the police or support services because of the crisis. The message of this campaign is absolutely clear: services are open and they are there to help you.
“Tackling domestic abuse is as much a priority now as ever. This outbreak should not prevent anyone experiencing violence, including coercive and controlling behaviours, from seeking such help or reporting a crime against them. Services are aware that there is a need to be sensitive to the fact that the person causing harm may be in the home and there is a number of ways in which support can be provided to victims in this situation. I hope the campaign being relaunched today makes clear what help is available and where to find it.”
Ruth Maguire said: “Periods of isolation and social distancing can exacerbate women’s experiences of domestic abuse, effectively trapping them in unsafe situations with limited access to vital support and means of escape.
“Following the Scottish Government’s decision to give additional funding to Scottish Women’s Aid and Rape Crisis Scotland, this is a welcome step to highlight the increased risk of violence that these women will face during this period.”
The Domestic Abuse campaign will relaunch on 10 April 2020 and will run until 17 May.
Scotland’s 24 hour Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline is available on 0800 027 1234 or visit sdafmh.org.uk to email or webchat. Visit Safer.Scot for further information.