Scotland rolled out its annual report for actions the country plans to take in the coming year and beyond. The overall theme, Protecting Scotland’s Future, included a robust programme for tackling the tough issue of domestic violence.

The Scottish Government’s vision to make Scotland a fairer and more equal society where everyone is valued, protected and respected includes commitment to the principles of the Safe & Together™ Model: to keep children who have experienced domestic abuse safe and together with their non‑abusive parent, while supporting and acknowledging non‑abusive parents’ protective efforts and ensuring perpetrators are held accountable for their abuse.

The Institute’s UK Lead, Anna Mitchell, will sit on the Joint Strategic Board to oversee the delivery of ‘Equally Safe: Scotland’s strategy to prevent and eradicate all forms of violence against women and girls.’ This positions Safe & Together principles as central to the priorities within this strategy. The Institute will continue to work with the Scottish Government to create concrete actions for the year ahead.

“We welcome the commitment to promote the principles of the Safe & Together Model within Scotland’s Programme for Government 2019-2020,” said David Mandel, Safe & Together Institute’s founder. “This Programme represents more than nine years of work in the United Kingdom learning the local context, building relationships and applying the lessons we have learned from all over the world.”

Scotland enacted the Domestic Abuse Act in April 2018. It created a “specific offence of domestic abuse covering not only physical abuse but other forms of psychological abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour.” To launch the Act, Scotland deployed a national public awareness campaign and training for police officers, members of the judiciary and prosecutors. As the report states, “Violence against women and girls is a breach of human rights. It is unacceptable in any society – everyone has the right to live free from the threat of violence and abuse. We have committed to ending it for good and our actions are focused on properly securing the rights of women and girls….We will promote the principles of the Safe & Together Model.”