Equally Safe: Scotland’s strategy for preventing & eradicating violence against women and girls

Date: 25th June 2014
Category: Protection from abuse or neglect

The Scottish Government has released a Strategy which aims to create a Scotland where all individuals are equally safe and respected and where women and girls live free from abuse and attitudes that help perpetuate it.

The Equally Safe Strategy highlights that violence against women and girls is a violation of the most fundamental human rights.

The Strategy refers to Scotland's first National Action Plan for Human Rights (SNAP) 2013-2017 which explicitly recognises that taking action to address violence against women and girls is needed to ensure we realise the human rights of all our citizens.

The Strategy also refers to a number of legal duties to prevent violence against women and girls as set out by several international treaties and human rights obligations. Amongst them are The Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (2011); The Human Rights Act (1988) and The United Nations Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

The Strategy commits the Scottish Government to meet the benchmark set by each of these international treaties and obligations.

It is recognised within the Strategy that violence against women can have significant consequences beyond those experienced by the individual. Children and young people growing up in the same family setting can be badly affected, whether as victims of violence directly or as witnesses to violence.

Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) requires State Parties to take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect children from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treastment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse.

Article 39 of the Convention puts a duty on States to take all of the appropriate measures to promote physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of a child victim of the above, fostering the health, self-respect and dignity of the child.