Supporting women and families experiencing domestic abuse

White Ribbon with a promise to never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women

Fife Council has reaffirmed its support for women and families experiencing domestic abuse.

Councillor Judy Hamilton, Convener of Fife Council’s Housing and Communities Committee once again highlighted that this remains an issue. She commented: “Sadly there has been an increase in violence, harassment and abuse during the pandemic

“For some people in Fife, home is not a place of safety but a place of fear, and we know that this has been exacerbated in recent months, as people are self-isolating and socially distancing at home.

“Today is White Ribbon Day (Wednesday 25 November), a United Nations campaign, internationally recognised by men, asking men – and indeed all of us to say NO to violence against women. Today also marks the start of 16 days of activism in the campaign for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

“I believe that Fife Council and our partners are leading the way for Scotland.

“Back in 2015 we were presented with a hard-hitting community research report, Change, Justice, Fairness, which challenged our Housing Service to do better by and for those experiencing violence and abuse.

“Research showed that it was generally the woman and children who left the home following domestic abuse. And we stepped up to change that. We listened to these women and invited them to work with us to identify the changes we needed to make to support their Housing choices and stop the homelessness that often followed domestic abuse. We changed the way in which we responded to women; supporting them and their families to be able to make decisions about their housing options and receive the support they need to rebuild their lives.

“We work closely with the police and a wide range of support services across our Violence Against Women Partnership and we want to create a society where domestic abuse is not tolerated and one where those who have experienced it or seen it, can feel confident and safe reporting it.”

I would like to pay tribute to the Women’s Health Improvement Research Project for all the hard work that they have done. I would also like to thank our community researchers – women who shared their experience at a most difficult time – and our Housing Service; our staff and partners who work tirelessly to deliver compassionate solutions.

“It is our job as human beings to expose domestic abuse for what it is and change the stigma associated with it.

“Many acts of domestic violence occur between the ages 18-24 and in very young relationships. In our society and our communities, it is our duty to eradicate this and refuse to let it become something we condone. We need to take a stand and pledge to Never Commit; excuse or remain silent about violence against women.

“In these difficult times, I am asking you, all of us in our communities, and among the organisations we work with, to find new ways to say ‘no’ to violence against women, despite the restrictions imposed by COVID-19.”

If you, or someone you know, is affected by any form of violence against women, you can get help and support from:

  • Police Scotland 101
  • Fife Women’s Aid 0808 802 5555
  • National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0800 027 1234
  • Rape Crisis Helpline 0808 801 0302
  • Forced Marriage Unit 0207 008 0151