TACKLING AN INCREASE in domestic abuse throughout the north east has prompted questions at Holyrood – and a call for more to be done.
That has come from the MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, Stewart Stevenson, who asked the Justice Secretary, Michael Matheson, what was being done to address domestic abuse incidents after noting these had risen by 25% in parts of the north east – compared to just 2.5% in the rest of Scotland.
Mr Stevenson accepted that the Scottish Government is working with the third sector to tackle the issue with over £700,000 invested in services that support affected women and children – including £29,087 allocated to Moray Women’s Aid.
However, he said that there remained a significant problem over the number of domestic abuse convictions and pledged to seek ways of strengthening the law.
“I believe there is a lot more work to be done in this area,” the MSP said, adding: “While I am delighted that more people feel that they can report incidents of domestic abuse – whether they are happening in the present day or are historic – I would like to see the conviction rate rise, so that there is justice for those that suffer in this way.”
Mr Matheson said that the Scottish Government “were clear that there was no excuse for domestic abuse” and Police Scotland and the Crown Office were focused on improving the current situation.
Projects being supported by the Scottish Government highlighted in the responses to Mr Stevenson included £57,816 to Children 1st for their ‘Stronger Safer Families Moray’ project.