Organisations who work to tackle violence against women and girls (VAWG) are being invited to apply for a share of up to £13 million to help them develop and further their vital work over the next three years.
The Delivering Equally Safe Fund will support frontline organisations and projects that broaden access to support survivors. Priority areas of the fund include developing a person centred approach, supporting disabled survivors and working with those in remote or island communities.
The new funding will help drive collaboration and innovation towards challenging outdated attitudes and stereotypes, staging early interventions that maximise the safety and wellbeing of women, children and young people, holding perpetrators to account for their behaviour and choices, and advancing women’s equality.
Equalities Minister Christina McKelvie said: “The shocking and unacceptable rise in domestic abuse over the course of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has demonstrated that we still have further to go in our ambition to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.
“We have responded quickly to ensure that frontline services could adapt and continue to help people during this public health crisis, providing more than £5.5 million in additional funding.
“Over the last year we continued to prioritise implementation of our Equally Safe strategy in partnership with COSLA and key stakeholders.
“We have been strengthening the law for domestic abuse and sexual violence survivors and those at risk of Female Genital Mutilation, supporting services to redesign at pace during the COVID-19 pandemic to raise awareness and encourage victims to seek support.
“This new fund will build upon and strengthen our efforts in partnership with experts and local front line providers. It will help us to make a step change over the next three years in preventing and reducing all forms of violence against women and girls.”
Inspiring Scotland CEO Celia Tennant said: “We are pleased to be working in partnership with Scottish Government on Delivering Equally Safe, a significant and cohesive fund with a bold agenda to tackle all forms of violence against women and girls in Scotland.
“We recognize the crucial role the third sector plays, particularly providing specialist support for those most at risk and look forward to working collaboratively, across sectors, towards a Scotland which embraces equality and mutual respect, and where women and girls live free from all forms of violence and abuse.”
Dr Marsha Scott, Chief Executive of Scottish Women’s Aid, said: “As always, we are glad to see the Scottish Government working to support organisations who can deliver specialist interventions around gender-based violence and to see funding distributed that reflects national policy. Now more than ever, specialist domestic abuse services are facing difficult decisions about how to maintain and deliver their vital services in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Delivering Equally Safe Fund will help our services to fill some of that gap and continue to support women, children and young people experiencing domestic abuse while staff assess and make plans for their long-term financial viability.”
Inspiring Scotland are fund managers for Delivering Equally Safe. Full details of how to apply can be found on their website Applications will close on 31 March 2021 (https://www.inspiringscotland.org.uk/what-we-do/our-funds/delivering-equally-safe/)
The fund was originally planned to launch in February of this year, but was paused to allow organisations to focus on demands arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Current recipients of funding from existing Equality and Human Rights budget funding streams have received an extension to existing grant arrangements up to the end of September 2021.