Support groups for women who have suffered violence and abuse are to be given a £570,000 cash boost to help them improve the services they offer.
The funding was announced by Alex Neil, social justice secretary, today (Friday).
The money will be allocated to domestic abuse and sexual assault services as one-off payments to invest in improving their resilience and infrastructure so they can better support women who have survived violence.
Mr Neil said: “The Scottish Government is absolutely committed to tackling the scourge of violence against women and girls.
“This funding boost of over half a million pounds will ensure local Women’s Aid and Rape Crisis centres can continue to provide vital services to women and girls throughout the country.
“It means every local centre or group will receive an extra £10,000 to help them reach those in need.
“Violence against women and girls is a fundamental violation of human rights, blighting thousands of lives each year. We are providing record levels of funding and strengthening the law in this area, but we know there remains much to be done.
“We will work together with our partners across the public and third sectors to do everything possible to prevent and eradicate all forms of violence against women and girls.”
Dr Marsha Scott, chief executive of Scottish Women’s Aid, said: “We are delighted to hear about any additional funding for local services, especially when demand for services is rising and local funding sources are very stressed.
“Particularly welcome is any investment in infrastructure, given the challenges involved in delivering services in the context of recession, austerity, and year-on-year cuts in real spend, all of which have eroded service resilience.”
She added: “We look forward to working with other stakeholders, officials, and politicians in the next Parliament to reform how and, perhaps more important, for how long, violence against women services are funded both nationally and locally.”
Rape Crisis Scotland has welcomed the funding to help survivors of abuse.
Sandy Brindley, national coordinator of Rape Crisis Scotland, said: “Rape crisis centres across Scotland provide crucial support services for survivors of sexual violence.
“We are delighted to receive additional funding to assist in the delivery of these services.”