A COUNCILLOR who was inspired to tackle domestic abuse by the tragic death of a friend has vowed to ensure help is available to victims across East Renfrewshire.

Mary Montague made a promise to herself to change attitudes.

She now sits on the board of a national group that combats violence against women across Scotland.

And she has hailed the “incredible” work done by anti-domestic abuse groups in East Renfrewshire.

Speaking to the News, cllr Montague, who is East Renfrewshire’s convener for community services and community safety, said: “On the death of my friend who had experienced domestic abuse, I vowed to do all I could to establish Women’s Aid services in our area, where there was none.

“With help from other local women and council support, the first Women’s Aid service and refuge was established.

“Too many women die at the hands of their partners or ex-partners. Too many children experience or witness it.

“Physical, mental, controlling or economic abuse can occur in all walks of life irrespective of postcode.

“As a member of Violence against Women National Strategy 'Equally Safe' group, I’m glad to see improvements and account being taken of the role of gender inequality in this.

“I hope that Barrhead men and women will sign the International Women’s Day pledge and do their bit to help end violence against women.”