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Community / Funding secured for new domestic abuse community engagement worker

THE LOCAL Women’s Aid branch has secured funding for a new part-time post as part of a new scheme bringing together Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles in tackling domestic abuse.

Around £115,000 will go towards the new project across the island groups from the Scottish Government’s Delivering Equally Safe Fund.

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Locally it means a coordinator will be recruited for the Shetland Domestic Abuse Partnership, which brings together local agencies.

Shetland Women’s Aid manager Laura Stronach.

Shetland Women’s Aid service manager Laura Stronach said the post would have the responsibility of community engagement and awareness raising.

Making sure training is being rolled out across Shetland is also on the agenda.

Similar roles will be recruited for Orkney and the Western Isles.

“It will be on each person on each island to work together and share ideas so that what’s being done in one island group can be modified for the next,” Stronach said.

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“It’s a real partnership, network working – everybody sharing.”

Meanwhile the government’s Delivering Equally Safe Fund – which is designed to prevent and eradicate violence against women and girls is also providing core funding to Shetland Women’s Aid and Shetland Rape Crisis over the next two years.

The local Women’s Aid will receive nearly £383,000 over the next two years.

Stronach said there are 95 active adult cases at the charity, and 78 on the waiting list. For children those figures are 30 and 26.

The organisation employs 12 people with two more in the pipeline.

Shetland Rape Crisis meanwhile will receive nearly £346,000 over the next two years.

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Service manager Lisa Ward said this will go to running costs for the charity and salaries for its staff.

“This will allow us to continue delivering free, inclusive and confidential support, counselling, advocacy and information to any non-abusive person, of any gender (age 13+), in Shetland affected by any form of sexual violence at any time in their life, as well as proactive work to prevent gender-based violence in our community.

“We are very grateful to the Scottish Government’s Delivering Equally Safe Team for recognising the need to core-fund our service, for which demand continues to grow year-on-year, and recognising that Shetland survivors of sexual violence deserve timely access to this specialist support to help them find their own way forward after a trauma.”

A total of 112 organisations in Scotland have received funding through the scheme.

Equalities minister Christina McKelvie said: “Violence against women and girls is appalling and unacceptable which is why we are funding organisations that are tackling the issue head on, including frontline services that support survivors and get to the root of abusive behaviour.

“These organisations are offering new and innovative ways to aid recovery, encourage education, and increase prevention awareness.”

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