EXTRA funding has been earmarked to support women and children experiencing or at risk of violence and domestic abuse.

Experts at Scottish Women’s Aid have told how the coronavirus pandemic has led to a surge in demand for their services in the local area, as lockdown has given abusers more tools to control and harm their victims.

Now the Scottish Government is making an additional £4.25million available to charities and projects across the country that are dealing with domestic abuse, including £250,000 for Women’s Aid.

More staff and increased hours for helplines will mean services can be improved to offer support more quickly.

Dr Marsha Scott, chief executive of Scottish Women’s Aid, said: “Our local Women’s Aid groups have shown extraordinary resilience and creativity in rapidly redesigning their services to continue supporting those experiencing domestic abuse throughout the pandemic.

“This injection of financial support will provide some much-needed stability for groups against a backdrop of precarious, patchwork local funding.”

Dr Scott also said the extra funding will strengthen the responses of groups if they are faced with a second wave of the virus, allowing them to build on the progress they have made in delivering services remotely.

She added: “This support from the Scottish Government will help local Women’s Aid services prepare to meet those needs and will mean that women, children and young people experiencing domestic abuse can access the help and advice they want, when they want it.”

There are a number of organisations providing support to those experiencing domestic abuse.

People can call Scotland’s Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0800 027 1234 at any time of the day or night.

Alternatively, contact Scottish Women’s Aid on 0131 226 6606.

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