Additional funding to help protect children from abuse

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson
Justice Secretary Michael Matheson

Support services for children affected by domestic abuse will benefit from an additional £200,000 funding, Justice Secretary Michael Matheson confirmed today (Tuesday).

ASSIST will use the funding to recruit additional advocacy staff and dedicated children and young people workers.

The new investment is one of the steps being taken to improve advocacy services across the country as a new report identifies a number of gaps and recommends further analysis and research to better support victims.

Mr Matheson said: “We are absolutely committed to improving the availability of advocacy services for victims of domestic abuse and recognise that children are often deeply affected by abuse at home and may require separate support. This is true if they are the direct victim of the abuse or are witness to it and it is vital that we build up our ability to support all those who suffer due to abuse.

“ASSIST have been working with children and young people and are helping us understand what tailored support can help people recover and rebuild after going through this type of trauma. This extra funding will help them continue to expand this work.

“We are taking action to better support survivors of abuse and the report on advocacy services published today gives us useful recommendations to move further. Some of these we are already working towards, such as giving third sector support groups greater financial security with rolling funding, but we cannot be complacent.”

Mhairi McGowan, Head of ASSIST & Domestic Abuse Services, said: “This additional funding is very welcome indeed and will allow us to expand the services we offer to children and young people who are so often deeply affected by domestic abuse.

“Young victims of domestic abuse face particular problems and can find the aftermath difficult to navigate. Being able to provide additional and focussed support will, I hope, help to make a difference and ensure they receive the support they need.”

The National Scoping report on advocacy services for victims of violence against women and girls was commissioned by the Scottish Government. The research found a perceived lack of advocacy services for children and young people in their own right.