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Domestic violence victims urged to vote anonymously in referendum

This news post is about 9 years old

Scottish Women's Aid offers advice for women wanting to vote in the independence referendum without being traced

Victims of domestic violence might be too scared to vote in the Scottish independence referendum because they fear their attackers could track them.

Scottish Women's Aid said abuse sufferers across who have fled their homes may not take part in the poll to avoid being traced through the public electoral register.

The charity has now launched its #safevotes campaign to encourage people to vote by filling out a form and supplying information to the Anonymous Voter Register (AVR) which will give them protection.

Lily Greenan, chief executive of Scottish Women’s Aid, said: “Many women and young people will avoid voting for fear of their address being made public, but AVR will enable safe votes by keeping their address confidential.”

“Women and young people who are fleeing domestic abuse deserve a safe vote - no-one should have to choose between their vote and their safety."

No-one should have to choose between their vote and their safety

Greenan added: “If an individual feels unsafe about having their polling card, postal vote or proxy vote form sent to their address they can ask for this to be sent to any other secure address, including their local Electoral Registration Office.”

A spokesperson for Yes Scotland welcomed the campaign, saying: “People should never live in fear of their safety and certainly should not be discouraged from exercising their democratic right to vote in what will be the most important poll in their lifetime.”

Speaking from the Better Together campaign, Jackie Baillie MSP said: "This is the biggest decision we will ever take in the history of our country, so it's vital that everybody makes their voice heard. I fully support this campaign by Scottish Women's Aid."

Scotland’s independence referendum will take place on Thursday 18 September.



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Nick Smithers
about 9 years ago
I would like to offer my support as NDO of Abused Men in Scotland to this campaign, while broadening it out to include all people of Scotland who may have fear of disclosing their address, whatever their sex or gender. The Anonymous Voters Register is a vital service which will ensure that no-one need lose their democratic franchise through fear or intimidation. AMIS will be advising our clients about this service.