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Friday 30th
posted by Zoe Streatfield in Britain

SCOTTISH Labour warned yesterday that vital services aimed at tackling violence against women and girls have faced “dangerous cuts” from the Scottish government over the last year.

Figures obtained by Scottish Labour show that 92 per cent of these projects had their budgets cut in 2016 despite a rise of 21 per cent in domestic abuse incidents in Scotland last Christmas.

Research from independent experts at the Scottish Parliament Information Centre also found a real-terms cut of more than £1 million in Scottish government funding to tackle violence against women in the current financial year.

Scottish Labour justice spokeswoman Claire Baker MSP said: “We know that vital services that help women and children who face horrific attacks and violence are already struggling with the insecurity of year-on-year funding. That is why we called for the introduction of three-year funding for such projects.

She warned that these projects were now “facing dangerous cuts and this will directly impact on those that need our help and support in fleeing abusive and violent relationships.

Ms Baker urged ministers to “back their rhetoric with action and rethink cuts to projects that tackle violence against women and girls.”

A Scottish government spokesman dismissed the claims as untrue, saying Holyrood was “investing record levels of funding to tackle violence against women” with an additional £20 million invested alongside the nearly £12 million invested annually since 2012.

He added: “Local specialist services do hugely important work and we value the support they provide to women and children experiencing violence and abuse.

“We are committed to introducing long-term funding for such services when we are in a position to do so.”