16 Days of Action against gender-based violence

Victim Support Scotland supports #16DaysOfActivism against gender-based violence

With reported cases of domestic abuse and other forms of gender-based violence steadily increasing  since 2020 as well as courts experiencing a record backlog of cases, the need to highlight 16 days of Action remains crucial.

Services supporting people affected by domestic abuse and other forms of gender-based violence have reported a continued increase in demand and highlight the severe negative impact on the mental health of people affected by crime.

Worrying societal challenges, such as the cost of living crisis, present further challenges for the day-to-day living of people affected by crime.
The work of organisations that support people affected by crime and enable their voices to be heard remains as crucial and life-saving.

Victim Support Scotland is here to support people when they need it most.  Looking beyond the statistics, our teams witness the devastating impact gender-based violence has on peoples’ lives.

We have a collective duty to unite and respond to people’s needs, and do all we can to tackle gender-based violence. In response, our staff and volunteers continue to provide practical advice, emotional support as well as financial support through our Emergency Assistance Fund.

Kate Wallace, Chief Executive of Victim Support Scotland, highlights why this campaign is needed

What is domestic abuse and gender-based violence?

The definition of domestic abuse used by Police Scotland is:  
‘Any form of physical, verbal, sexual, psychological or financial abuse which might amount to criminal conduct and which takes place within the context of a relationship. The relationship will be between partners (married, cohabiting, civil partnership or otherwise) or ex-partners. The abuse can be committed in the home or elsewhere including online’.

Gender-based violence refers to a spectrum of violence and abuse that includes, but is not limited to: domestic abuse, rape and sexual assault, childhood sexual abuse, stalking and harassment, commercial sexual exploitation and other harmful practices.

These forms of crime can impact individuals in many ways – emotionally, mentally, physically, financially and practically.

Support available

Victim Support Scotland is here to provide free, independent and confidential support to anyone who may be affected by crime, whether or not a crime has been reported to the police.

Our support workers and volunteers are available in person, over the phone, on web chat and in the courts throughout Scotland.

Victim Support Scotland offers a safe place for anyone affected by crime to talk about fears, worries and emotions. We can also provide practical advice and information to support people within what is often a confusing justice system.

The VSS Emergency Assistance Fund is also available to provide support to any victim of crime who is in urgent need of financial help as a direct result of a specific crime and has no means of accessing funding from any other source.

We are just one of many organisations that support people experiencing domestic abuse and other forms of gender-based violence. To find out more, please click below:

Action Against Stalking 
Hemat Gryffe Women’s Aid 
Rape Crisis Scotland 
Scottish Women’s Aid 
Scottish Women’s Rights Centre 
Shakti Women’s Aid 

The 16 days of activism campaign is a global awareness campaign against domestic abuse and gender-based violence that runs from 25 November until the 10 December. This year, the UN marks the 16 Days under the theme “UNiTE! Activism to end violence against women and girls”.