Whilst welcoming the Scottish Government’s ongoing commitment to tackling violence against women, the STUC today (Thursday 23rd December) called for investment in public services, and ring fencing of violence against women services within local authority budgets.
Speaking ahead of the Scottish Government’s debate on Violence against Women, in the Scottish Parliament today, Ann Henderson, STUC Assistant Secretary said:
“Support for women and children experiencing domestic abuse is not only provided through refuge provision, but also by our school support staff, health and social services, voluntary sector, community centres and libraries, and police forces. Investing in these services provides a safer environment for all our children and families.”
The Scottish Government Equality Statement published alongside the Draft Budget 2011-12 comments:
‘Women are more reliant than men on the welfare state and public services. Consequently, the public sector cuts arising from the UK Comprehensive Spending Review, (and earlier Budget) combined with the reform of welfare have a particular effect on women's jobs, incomes and services.’
With local authorities already taking decisions which threaten vital services, such as in Glasgow where the Women’s Support Project has lost key funding from March 2011, and cuts across every local authority budget, it remains to be seen if Scotland can set out a different set of priorities. The Scottish Parliament must continue to scrutinise all spending decisions accordingly.
Words and strategies will not be enough. Changing attitudes and keeping women and children safe from harm requires investment, both of our time and our money. The STUC will continue to give this the highest priority in the year ahead.
Further information and comment from: Ann Henderson, STUC Assistant Secretary on 0141 337 8100