New guidance for tackling violence against women during COVID-19

New guidance, developed by COSLA and the Scottish Government, has been published to support local authorities and other key partners to tackle violence against women during and after COVID-19.

It supplements existing guidance underpinning Equally Safe: Scotland’s Strategy to Prevent and Eradicate Violence Against Women and Girls.

The guidance aims to ensure that we are joined up locally and across a wide range of organisations in protecting the human rights and safeguarding the needs of women, children and young people experiencing violence throughout the pandemic and into the recovery period.

Councillor Kelly Parry, COSLA’s Community Wellbeing Spokesperson, said:

“We know that this pandemic has heightened the risks to women and children living with domestic abuse and other forms of gender based violence globally. This supplementary guidance is informed by the expertise of a broad range of committed services and partner organisations in Local Authority areas across Scotland.

 “Covid-19 does not offer abusers an excuse for their choices and their behaviours. Working closely with colleagues across health services and with third sector specialist services, we will continue to robustly seek to provide support  to all victims of gender-based violence and to hold perpetrators of violence and abuse firmly to account.”

Katie Cosgrove, Public Health Scotland Organisational Lead – Gender-based Violence said:

“Responding to COVID-19 has brought huge challenges for us all, and has highlighted the particular risks faced by women and children experiencing abuse.  As we adapt to the demands of this crisis, we hope this guidance will help us work together to protect and support women and children, and to ensure that we prioritise their safety and wellbeing as we respond to the virus, and in local planning for the post pandemic period.”

Read the full document here Coronavirus (COVID-19) Supplementary National Violence Against Women Guidance (PDF).