Beatrice Wishart, MSP for Shetland, has today joined calls for a commission to look into violence against women and girls . The Scottish Liberal Democrats have called for all five major parties, and local candidates, to commit to a commission to urgently look into the matter and report back with recommendations on how to improve the situation for women and girls within the first year of the next Parliament.
Ms Wishart, a trustee at Shetland Women’s Aid, recently highlighted the urgent need for more to be done about the lack of access to legal aid in Shetland for women and children affected by domestic abuse and gender-based violence (GBV) in Shetland.
Commenting Ms Wishart said:
“No woman or girl should have to live in fear of violence. Not in Shetland, Scotland, the UK or anywhere in the world, but far too often this is not the case.
“Recent events have shone a light on how women across the country feel let down. In Shetland, we see this with the struggle to access legal aid. What we now need more than ever is a fresh look at how services operate, and action to address the inequalities suffered by many vulnerable survivors of domestic abuse and GBV.
“I hope support for this commission is something that can go beyond politics and that all candidates in the upcoming election, regardless of party affiliation, will commit to this proposal so looking forward we can finally have an environment where women and girls feel safe and respected.”
Scottish Liberal Democrat equalities spokesperson Caron Lindsay said:
“We've seen over the past few days how angry women feel about the fact that we don't always feel safe on the streets. For too many, home is a dangerous place too.
“Every woman has a story to tell about a time when they felt seriously scared by the behaviour of men while they were out walking. It can be a man being aggressive to you if you refuse their attention, it can be a man getting too close or trying to talk to you when there's nobody else around. Rarely, it can mean actual violence. It shouldn't be like that. We should be safe.
“We need to look at how we prevent violence against women and girls at all levels. A commission looking at areas like education, justice, and council services would be a way to keep these issues at the forefront of people's minds and show a commitment to making things better. I hope that every party can get behind this approach and commit to making this happen.”