Efforts to tackle domestic abuse in East Renfrewshire are being stepped up.

East Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) is supporting the 16 Days campaign, which aims to raise awareness of domestic abuse and encourage anyone affected by gender-based violence to seek help.

The campaign, which starts tomorrow and continues until Friday, December 10, is being co-ordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership and supported by more than 6,000 organisations across 187 countries.

Research shows that domestic abuse is the main cause of significant harm to children and young people in East Renfrewshire.

Over the last 12 months, around 1,000 women and children have sought help from Women’s Aid East Renfrewshire.

Women’s Aid is a free, safe, discreet and confidential service that supports women, children and young people who are experiencing or have experienced domestic abuse.

The charity provides confidential support and access to temporary accommodation.

In East Renfrewshire, it can help by phone on 0141 404 0015, email via info@wasler.org.uk or in person.

This can be in a safe location, your home or at the new Women’s Aid premises at The Foundry, in Barrhead.

The office is open from 9am until 5pm on Mondays to Fridays and those seeking help are able to drop in anytime during those hours without an appointment.

By asking for ‘Bonnie,’ reception staff at The Foundry will discreetly direct you to their office.

Kate Rocks, head of public protection and children services at East Renfrewshire HSCP, told the Barrhead News: “It is important for us to support the 16 Days campaign, as no-one should experience domestic abuse.

“The Covid pandemic, specifically lockdown, made it difficult for women to reach out for help but support is available and I would encourage anyone experiencing abuse – whether physical or emotional – to reach out to Women’s Aid for help.”

Christine Miller, team manager at Women’s Aid East Renfrewshire, added: “The last 20 months have been difficult for everyone but, for those living with domestic abuse, their situation has been amplified, which is terrifying.

“For anyone experiencing domestic abuse, we are here for you. Please come and speak to us. We can help you, no matter what your situation is.”