Equally SafeEqually Safe is the national Scottish Government and COSLA strategy for preventing and eradicating gender based violence against women and girls. As per the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, 1993, it defines this as "gender based violence is a function of gender inequality and an abuse of male power and privilege". This gendered definition specifically highlights the need to understand violence within the context of women’s and girl’s subordinate status in society and includes women and girls across all protected characteristics.

These are defined by equality legislation as:

  • age,
  • disability,
  • gender reassignment,
  • marriage
  • civil partnership
  • race
  • religion/beliefs
  • sexual orientation
  • and pregnancy/maternity

Equally Safe: Scotland’s strategy to eradicate violence against women

Gender refers to the range of socially constructed roles, traits, attitudes, behaviours, values, responsibilities, power, status and influence given to males and females on a differential bases. Cultural expectations can play a major role in defining what we perceive as male and female roles and society’s views of masculinity and femininity.

Equally Safe defines gender based violence as encompassing:

  • physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring in the family (including children and young people) within the general community or in institutions, including
  • domestic abuse
  • rape and incest
    sexual harassment
  • bullying and intimidation in any public or private space, including work
    commercial sexual exploitation child sexual abuse, including familial sexual abuse
  • child sexual exploitation and online abuse
  • honour based violence including dowry related violence
  • female genital mutilation
  • forced and child marriages, and honour crimes

This strategy explicitly employs a gendered analysis of gender based violence. However, this analysis is not a denial that men can be victims of most types of violence, including domestic abuse, rape, sexual assault, harassment and childhood sexual abuse. However, statistics clearly demonstrate that women are much more likely to be victims. Police statistics continually show that the proportion of domestic abuse incidents involving a male victim and a female accused sits around 1 in 5 of all incidents.


Multi-Agency Partnership

Each Local Authority will have a Gender Based Violence (or Violence against Women) Partnerships which will develop a local strategy and action plan on how they will work towards elimination of all forms of gender based violence. It is recognised that no one agency can provide the solution and we need a community wide response so that everyone can challenge every aspect of gender based violence.

You can find copies of Stirling's Strategy here.

Equally Safe at Work

What can we, as Practitioners, do?

There is an importance in keeping ourselves and colleagues safe. Every organisation should have a Gender Based Violence policy and procedure. The first point of call for this is your HR department. Below is a link to the national accreditation scheme around GBV and the workplace.

About Equally Safe at Work

Training and Awareness Raising

If you have contact with anyone currently experiencing domestic abuse

Please make sure you take advantage of training and awareness raising events within each of the councils. More information about Public Protection and the Public Protection calendar is available on our page linked below.

Public Protection Learning & Development

Early Education and Prevention

Equally Safe at School takes place through a number of activities:

White Ribbon Campaign

White Ribbon Scotland seeks to end gender-based violence by including men in the solution. The work of the charity seeks to provide information and training sessions on how men can help end violence against women  within their own organisations and communities. We understand that most men are not violent towards women but ignoring those who are is a large part of the problem.

White Ribbon Status Projects awards organisations/educational institutions/geographical areas with a tangible and intangible award that demonstrates their commitment to end violence against women. We also seek trainee speakers, co-ordinators and ambassadors to represent and spread our message.

White Ribbon Scotland Website

Community Bystander Approach

We want to link in with communities to raise awareness of gender-based violence and to learn how to safely challenge all behaviours which can allow gender based violence to perpetuate.

If you would like someone to come and speak to a community please get in touch.

List of Specialist Support Services

Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC)

All practitioners should be aware of and attend training on what a MARAC is and know who is the MARAC attendee within your area and who can support you in bring a referral forward. If you are working with someone who you have concerns may be at serious risk of harm or murder you need to think about, and talk to someone about a referral to MARAC.

SafeLives’ MARAC Overview

For more information and resources surrounding MARAC, see our page linked below.

Our Domestic Abuse page 

NHS Specialist Sexual Health and Rape Services

As a Practitioner you should be aware of the Meadows Forensic Sexual Assault for anyone who has experienced sexual assault or rape. As of 2020 referrals are through the police, however from 2021 people can self-refer into the clinic. The clinic is a warm, comfortable bungalow with support on hand.

NHS Forth Valley – The Meadows

Perpetrator Programmes

Our Justice Social Work services undertake supervised contact with Perpetrators of Gender Based Violence and they, or the court, can refer to the Caledonian Project.

SACRO Caledonian Work Programme

Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse Scotland

The Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse Scotland (DSDAS) gives people the right to ask about the background of their partner. It also allows concerned relatives and friends, the right to ask about someone’s partner. They can ask if they have been abusive in the past.

DSDAS also gives Police Scotland the power to tell people that they may be at risk. This information can be given if it is not asked for. 

Where we have information that a person may be at harm of domestic abuse by their partner, Police Scotland have the power to tell them. DSDAS allows people to make the choice on whether to remain in the relationship.

Police Scotland and our partners can then help and support them.

More information can be found on the Police Scotland website and a Leaflet explaining the process.

Last updated: Thursday, July 7, 2022 3:42 PM