MORAY WOMEN’S AID has been used as a ‘shining example’ of work being undertaken to tackle domestic abuse.
However the financial plight that has cast doubt over the future of the group was also highlighted in the Scottish Parliament this week during a debate on domestic abuse in Scotland.
Speaking at the debate, Moray Councillor and Tory MSP for the Highlands and Islands region, Douglas Ross, was supporting proposals that would see the introduction of the criminal offence of domestic abuse, which is receiving cross-party support.
Mr Ross pointed to the group in his own constituency and the issues they face with financial support set to be withdrawn by Moray Council.
Commenting after the debate, Mr Ross said: “This is a crucial piece of legislation and one that has the support of all parties in the Parliament.
“In my role as Justice Spokesperson for the Scottish Conservatives I will be leading on this issue and I want to ensure we hear from local people and organisations to ensure we get a Bill that helps victims of this horrendous crime.
“In Moray, the number of victims has almost doubled in a year, from 377 in 2013-14 to 749 in 2014-15. I applaud the excellent work done by Moray Women’s Aid. The service offers excellent support at its facility in Elgin to women and children who experience domestic abuse, however I’m aware of the concerns over their future funding.
“We must ensure that Moray Women’s Aid and similar organisations the length and breadth of the country continue to receive our backing so that they continue to give their support to those who need it the most.”
The MSP added that he hoped to meet with the group soon and will be interesting in hearing their input on the proposed legislation.
He added: “It is critical that any legislation is fit for purpose and provides the support and protection needed by the victims of abuse, abuse which can be inflicted upon them in many different ways.
“It’s also the case that victims need the confidence that domestic abuse crimes will be investigated thoroughly and dealt with effectively with this new law which is why it’s so vital we get this legislation correct.”
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