Significant boost for a total of 12 organisations
A £5 million boost to help groups working against gender-based violence has been announced by the Scottish Government.
The bulk of the funding, which was announced by equalities minister Christina McKelvie, will go to Scottish Women's Aid and Rape Crisis Scotland.
The two organisations will share £4.5 million to help with the "vital" work that they do, McKelvie said.
The remaining £500,000 will be split between 12 specialist groups offering support services.
Dr Marsha Scott, chief executive of Scottish Women's Aid, said they have experienced a "huge increase in demand for support from survivors of domestic abuse", adding that the "impact from this is already being felt as our waiting lists are growing".
"This funding from the Scottish Government will help us manage this higher demand and reduce these waiting lists, allowing more accessible support for survivors," she said.
"For us, this is an opportunity to bridge funding between coronavirus emergency funding and a new funding system based on need, rather than historical arrangements."
Rape Crisis Scotland chief executive Sandy Brindley emphasised the importance of specialist services being resourced to be able to provide the support that is often described by survivors as life-saving.
She said: “It is only through a strategic and co-ordinated approach that we will be able to make sure that survivors are able to access the support they deserve at the point of need.”
Announcing details of the cash support, the minister stressed that “violence against women and girls is one of the most devastating and fundamental violations of human rights and is totally unacceptable.”
Christina McKelvie added: “As the need for these services has grown in this most difficult of times, this funding will help survivors and those at risk to access specialist support when they need it most.”