NICOLA Sturgeon announced plans yesterday for £20 million of new funding over the next three years to tackle violence against women.
The First Minister said the money will be invested to speed up the court process, give more support to victims, and expand schemes to help offenders change their behaviour.
Sturgeon referred to her speech earlier this week to Scottish Women’s Aid in which she announced plans to strengthen the law against domestic abuse and, subject to consultation, introduce legislation this year.
In particular, a new consultation on proposals will look at whether a specific offence of domestic abuse is needed and whether legislation is needed to tackle the problem of “revenge porn”.
She said: “There are many things that still stand in the way of gender equality.
“Systemic and institutional barriers that we need to remove – the pay gap, occupational segregation, a lack of affordable childcare and, sometimes, just outdated attitudes. But for too many women, it is the violence and abuse they suffer in their own homes.
“Domestic abuse is a crime that affects one in six women in our country. But changing the law is not enough. We need to do more. That is why I am announcing today new funding of £20 million over the next three years to step up our work to tackle violence against women.
We will invest that money to speed up the court process, give more support to victims, and expand schemes to help offenders change their behaviour.”
She described domestic violence as a “scourge” that needed to be addressed if “we are ever to achieve true gender equality in this country”.
“And let me make it clear, I am determined to lead a government that will do just that”, she added.
Sturgeon described education as a “personal passion” in her speech and said it drives her ambition to improve the future for young women.
She said: “As the first woman to hold the office of First Minister, I am determined that, unlike that other woman leader we once knew, I will use my time in this job to improve the lives of women across our country. For me that means challenging discrimination and championing women’s achievements. It also means leading by example.
“You know, I despair that, today, in 2015, there are only three gender-balanced cabinets in the whole of the developed world. But I am really proud that mine is of one of them.”
SCOTSMAN TABLET AND MOBILE APPS