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S6W-05841: Alexander Burnett (Aberdeenshire West)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 21 January 2022

To ask the Scottish Government what measures are in place to ensure that women feel safe in their local areas.

Answered by: Christina McKelvie 2 February 2022

The Scottish Government is taking robust action to ensure that women feel safe by improving our laws, encouraging more victims of recent and historical cases to come forward and improving support. That is why our Equally Safe strategy continues to have a decisive focus on preventing violence and tackling the underlying attitudes that perpetuate it. Our new two-year Delivering Equally Safe fund will award £38 million to projects which focus on early intervention and prevention.

We have established an independent Misogyny and Criminal Justice in Scotland Working Group, chaired by Baroness Helena Kennedy QC. The Working Group’s report will be published in February 2022 and will inform the further policy decisions we take to further address the many forms of violence, transgression, and abuse experienced by women.

Police Scotland's new verification procedure, following the murder of Sarah Everard, has a clear message that the onus is on the service to provide reassurance to women. However, effectively tackling and challenging gender based violence is not just the responsibility of women or frontline organisations. It is incumbent on men to take action to prevent such behaviour and make communities safer places.