Help for women who suffer domestic abuse

Women's Aid workers Nichola and Lorna.
Women's Aid workers Nichola and Lorna.

New refuge accommodation, outreach and drop-in services are being opened for women in Milngavie and Bearsden experiencing domestic abuse.

The extension to East Dunbartonshire Women’s Aid, which is currently based in Kirkintilloch, has been made possible by a five year funding award from the Big Lottery.

The project is being carried out in partnership with Clyde Valley Housing Association, which has purchased and leased two satellite properties to provide the refuge accommodation.

The funding means that East Dunbartonshire Women’s Aid can employ two new workers for the refuge, outreach service and drop-in, which is held in Cairns Church, Milngavie.

Nichola McCaw said: “The Bearsden and Milngavie areas are, for the most part, affluent and the general perception is that domestic abuse is more likely to be experienced by women living in areas of poor housing and high unemployment however this is not always the case.”

In 2011/2012 49 women from the Bearsden/Milngavie area contacted East Dunbartonshire Women’s Aid for information, support or refuge.

The following year this figure had risen to 69 women.

Nichola added: “Women have told us that poor public transport links means that they face a 20 mile round trip from Milngavie or Bearsden to our office in Kirkintilloch.

“Also women fleeing domestic abuse in Bearsden and Milngavie have had to move out of their area until now because there was no refuge accommodation there.

“There is also a major shortage of public sector housing and extremely high rents for private lets.

“We hope that having a conveniently located Outreach service will encourage more women who are experiencing domestic abuse to come forward for support.

“Families affected by domestic abuse will have greater access to refuge accommodation in their home area with easier access to schools, employment and family and friend support networks.

“It means they can have the same positive long term outcomes without moving to another area.”

Police Scotland have worked with EDWA to implement safety measures for women and children who are in refuge.

The Outreach Service is available by phone (24 hours), email or appointment.

For more information and advice call 0141 776 0864, email: Edwomensaid@aol.com or visit the website www.edwa.org.uk.