Funding Unveiled To Get Abuse Victims Back In Work

8 March 2016, 17:58 | Updated: 8 March 2016, 18:04

The First Minister has announced £190,000 of funding to help women who have suffered domestic abuse back into work.

Nicola Sturgeon made the pledge at the Scottish Women's Aid (SWA) annual conference in Edinburgh on International Women's Day.

The funding will allow SWA to work directly with women to give them the opportunity to get back into the job market.

Ms Sturgeon said the Scottish Government has committed more than £17 million in funding this year to tackle domestic abuse across Scotland.

"Women face a range of barriers that may prevent them moving into employment, but none more so than if they are struggling to rebuild their lives after suffering abuse at their hands of their partner,'' she said.

"That's why the Scottish Government is dedicating this additional funding to help women access fair employment opportunities and develop themselves both professionally and personally.

"Nobody should live in fear at home or within their wider community. We need to do more to help rebuild the lives of these survivors.

"This funding will ensure women who may previously have lost confidence or who have relied on their partner's income now have a chance to become more financially independent.''

The conference was held at Hibernian's Easter Road stadium and Ms Sturgeon joked she had picked the wrong outfit for the day when she arrived in a maroon jacket - the colour of capital rivals Hearts.

Scottish Women's Aid chief executive Dr Marsha Scott said: "Today was like Christmas for me.

"There's nothing more I like than talking about justice and women's equality, and today I got to spend International Women's Day doing just that with my sisters and the First Minister.

"This year marks Scottish Women's Aid's 40th anniversary and we are all standing on the shoulders of the most incredible, innovative and inspiring women.

"It is their legacy that drives us on to fight for justice, end inequality and eradicate domestic abuse.''

Hibernian chief executive Leann Dempster also addressed the conference and spoke about gender equality in sport.

She said: "I'm a woman leading a football club in Scotland. There's a number of folk who say women need to lead from the front and I think I'm doing that.

``I support gender equality in sport and we are moving forward, but I would like to see more opportunities for girls and all young people. The more we can do the better.''