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Published 27 November 2017

West Dunbartonshire Council have pledged their commitment to raising awareness of domestic abuse by signing a pledge to mark the start of 16 Days of Action.

Council’s Chief Executive, Joyce White and Domestic Abuse Champion, Caroline McAllister, supported by Elected Members and senior officers signed the White Ribbon pledge to raise awareness of gender based domestic violence and promising never to excuse, commit or remain silent about male violence against women.

The 16 Days of Action campaign, which starts on Thursday, 25 November (International Day against Violence against Women) through to 10 December (International Human Rights Day) aims to increase awareness of male victims, highlight the nature and prevalence of violence against women, and strengthen local work to tackle violence against women.

The campaign also raises awareness of the men, women and children who have suffered or are suffering domestic abuse and the help available through various agencies across West Dunbartonshire.

Tackling domestic abuse and eliminating violence against women is a key priority for the Council and West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership (WDHSCP).   Key Community Planning Partners including Police Scotland and local partners are meeting to address the rise in domestic abuse locally.

Councillor Caroline McAllister, Domestic Abuse Champion, said: “As Domestic Abuse Champion in West Dunbartonshire, I am delighted to officially sign the pledge and give my commitment to the White Ribbon Domestic Abuse Campaign.  The Council along with WDHSCP is fully committed to eradicating domestic abuse from our communities and we are actively working in partnership to tackle gender-based violence.

“Sadly and despite the significant ongoing work, West Dunbartonshire has the highest rates of domestic abuse in Scotland and more worrying a high rate of repeat offenders which is very disappointing.

She added: “Together we must work to address the issues faced by our residents and find a way to stop violence against women, children and men. We need to get the message out that domestic abuse is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in West Dunbartonshire.”

Beth Culshaw, Chief Officer of WDHSCP, said: “There is no place in society for any form of domestic abuse, and we are committed to working with our partners to address the issues we face in West Dunbartonshire. 

She continued: “Given our commitment to tackling domestic abuse, it is noted as a key priority within our Local Outcome Improvement Plan for West Dunbartonshire.  The HSCP and its partners will continue to work together to raise awareness and provide early interventions to stop the cycle of domestic abuse in West Dunbartonshire.”

There are many support groups in West Dunbartonshire to help and support victims of domestic abuse:

Dumbarton District Women’s Aid: Tel 01389 751036

Clydebank District Women’s Aid: Tel 0141 952 8118

The CARA (Challenging and Responding to Abuse) Project Women's Service Contact: Tel 01389 738595 or 01389 738278

Men's Advice Line: Confidential helpline for men experiencing domestic violence: Tel 0808 801 0327

Police Scotland:   999 (emergency) 101 (non-emergency).