Survivors of Gender Based Violence have helped shape a new Stirling-wide strategy to raise awareness of and tackle violence against women and girls.
The pioneering Stirling Gender Based Violence (GBV) Partnership has brought public, private and third sector organisations together under one umbrella to make a real difference to the lives of women and children locally.
The partners have listened to those who have experienced abuse and used their insight to shape the first Stirling Gender Based Violence Strategy, which outlines Stirling’s priorities and direction over the next three years.
The Strategy will provide a foundation to achieve the ultimate goal of preventing and eliminating gender based violence throughout the region.
Gender Based Violence can take many forms, including domestic abuse, sexual abuse, rape, coercive control, stalking, honour based violence and online exploitation. It occurs across all levels of society, and the physical, emotional and psychological consequences can be profound and damaging.
Working together as part of the Stirling GBV Partnership are Stirling Council; University of Stirling; Stirling and District Women’s Aid; Forth Valley Rape Crisis; Forth Valley College; Wellbeing Scotland; Police Scotland; Scottish Fire and Rescue Services; NHS Forth Valley and the Scottish Prison Service.
Chair of the Stirling GBV Partnership and Dean for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Stirling
I am deeply committed to challenging gender-based violence and am proud of the work by our partnership to launch this pioneering region-wide strategy. The collaborative approach also builds upon, and aligns with, long-established and nationally-recognised work and investment in this area by the University and our Students' Union.
The Partnership will seek to reinforce the message across Stirling that Gender Based Violence is unacceptable, creating communities where people are educated to identify signs of abuse and feel empowered to take steps in order to help the victim.
By reducing the damaging effects of Gender Based Violence, the new Strategy aims to create a Stirling where gender inequality is reduced, where children and adults understand what a safe, healthy and positive relationship looks like, and where the right services are in place to support those who experience harm from Gender Based Violence.
Convener of Stirling Council’s Public Safety Committee, Councillor Evelyn Tweed, said: “This strategy is an important milestone in our efforts to tackle and eradicate gender based violence. We are grateful to all those who bravely shared their lived in experiences with us to highlight the issue and help shape our work.
“The impact of Gender Based Violence has an immediate and long lasting impact on the women and children who experience it. It has no place in our vision for a safe and successful Stirling. We are committed to eradicating it and this new strategy provides the template for how we will challenge every aspect of gender based violence over the next few years.”
Vice Convener, Councillor Chris Kane, said: “We have a simple, yet powerful, vision that our communities in Stirling will become places where everyone can thrive. Violence against women and girls damages health and wellbeing, limits freedom and potential and is a fundamental violation of human rights.
“Partnership working is essential to allow us to take action on all forms of gender based violence, helping us build on a shared understanding of the causes, risk factors and scale of the problem. It is only by working between agencies, across all areas of life, that we will successfully make a real difference to women and children locally.”
Chair of the Stirling GBV Partnership and Dean for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Stirling, Jill Stevenson, said: “As Chair of the Stirling GBV Partnership, I am deeply committed to challenging gender-based violence and am proud of the work by our partnership to launch this pioneering region-wide strategy.
“The collaborative approach also builds upon, and aligns with, long-established and nationally-recognised work and investment in this area by the University and our Students' Union – and we are looking forward to extending this work alongside our local authority, public sector and charity partners.
“Working together and sharing our knowledge and experience, I believe the partners can make a real difference in preventing and responding to gender-based violence across the Stirling area and in wider society.”
The new Strategy is also aligned to the four main priorities within Equally Safe, which is the national Scottish Government and COSLA strategy to take action on all forms of violence against women and girls.