Stirling launches new gender-based violence strategy

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Survivors of gender-based violence have helped shape a new Stirling-wide strategy to raise awareness of and tackle violence against women and girls.

The Stirling Gender Based Violence (GBV) Partnership has brought together public, private and third sector organisations to prevent and eliminate gender-based violence throughout Stirling.

Working together as part of the Stirling GBV Partnership are The University of Stirling; Stirling Council; Stirling and District Women’s Aid; Forth Valley Rape Crisis; Forth Valley College; Wellbeing Scotland; Police Scotland; Scottish Fire and Rescue Services; NHS Forth Valley and the Scottish Prison Service.

The strategy aims to reduce gender inequality in Stirling, to educate people on safe and healthy relationships, and to ensure that services are in place to support those who experience gender-based violence.

The partners have listened to survivors of gender-based violence and used their insight to shape the strategy, which outlines Stirling’s priorities and direction over the next three years.

Convenor of Stirling Council’s Public Safety Committee, Councillor Evelyn Tweed, said: “This strategy is an important milestone in our efforts to tackle and eradicate gender-based violence. We are grateful to all those who bravely shared their lived-in experiences with us to highlight the issue and help shape our work

“The impact of gender-based violence has an immediate and long-lasting impact on the women and children who experience it. We are committed to eradicating it and this new strategy provides the template for how we will challenge every aspect of gender-based violence over the next few years

“[Gender-based violence] has no place in our vision for a safe and successful Stirling.”

Vice Convener, Councillor Chris Kane said: “Partnership working is essential to allow us to take action on all forms of gender-based violence, helping us build on a shared understanding of the causes, risk factors and scale of the problem.”

Jill Stevenson, Dean for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Stirling, is the Chair of the Stirling Gender Based Violence Partnership.

“As Chair of the Stirling GBV Partnership, I am deeply committed to challenging gender-based violence and am proud of the work by our partnership to launch this pioneering region-wide strategy,” she said.

“The collaborative approach also builds upon, and aligns with, the long-established commitment and investment in this area by the University and our Students’ Union – and we are looking forward to extending this work alongside our local authority, public sector and charity partners.”

Chair of the Stirling Gender Based Violence Partnership and Dean for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Stirling, Jill Stevenson (Image Credit: University of Stirling)

The strategy has also aligned itself with the four main priorities of ‘Equally Safe’, the gender-based violence strategy launched in 2014 by the Scottish Government and COSLA.

The Stirling GBV Partnership will deliver the four priorities on a local level. These include:

  1. Scottish society embraces equality and mutual respect and rejects all forms of violence against women and girls.
  2. Women and girls thrive as equal citizens: socially, culturally, economically and politically.
  3. Interventions are early and effective, preventing violence and maximising the safety and wellbeing of women, children and young people.
  4. Men desist from all forms of violence against women and girls and perpetrators of such violence receive a robust and effective response.

Gender-based violence affects 1 in 3 women worldwide. It can take the form of domestic abuse, sexual assault or harassment, rape, coercive control, stalking, honor based violence and online exploitation.

If you have experienced gender-based violence or been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, reach out for help at Victim Support Scotland (0800 160 1985) or Forth Valley Rape Crisis Centre (01786 439244)

Featured Image Credit: Harry Williamson

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News Editor at Brig Newspaper
Fourth year Journalism Studies at the University of Stirling

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