FEARS OVER THE FUTURE of women’s aid services in Moray has prompted questions being asked in the Scottish Parliament.
Earlier this week it was revealed that Moray Women’s Aid was facing a shortfall in its funding of £20,000 – and as a result may have to turn women in need away.
Around 700 women are supported by the local branch of the charity each year – however, it has revealed that it has been unable to replace funding lost when Moray Council withdrew and annual grant.
Now Highlands and Islands MSP Rhoda Grant has stepped into the row by asking the Scottish Government what support they are providing for Women’s Aid Services and those that provide support for victims of domestic abuse.
She said: “I am concerned about the overall approach to domestic abuse and particularly the victims of domestic abuse.
“I accept that Police Scotland and their partner agencies are doing a lot of good work, but we need to look at the whole picture. In Moray for the year 2012/2013 there were 636 domestic abuse incidents, yet in 2015/2016 there were 740.
“We need to make sure that we are dealing with this priority crime as a complete package. That is why I lodged Parliamentary Questions asking the Government about the roll out of Domestic Abuse Courts in the North.
“Where such Courts exist in the Central belt the experience of victims and professional agencies has been that they the staff dealing with such matters are better prepared and trained and the atmosphere is less intimidating.
“Now we learn that the Women’s Aid Services are struggling for funding. These are key services and we have to make sure that focussed, supportive, balanced mechanisms are in place to deal with the ongoing domestic incident issues, as well as the enforcement side of dealing with offenders.”