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Lottery funds new, fearless approach to tackling domestic abuse

A new approach to addressing the problem of hidden domestic abuse in Scotland has recently (20 March) received a cash boost of £869,000 from the Big Lottery Fund.

Community justice organisation, Sacro will roll out the FearLess project in 18 of Scotland’s local authorities combining a domestic abuse helpline with intensive one to one support and mentoring. This will include a range of practical and emotional support including help with accommodation, personal finances, creating a personal safety plan, education, training and employment. 

In partnership with statutory agencies, housing providers and three specialist third sector organisations - Shakti Womens Aid, Respect and LGBT Youth Scotland - the project will reach out to those people who are less inclined to come forward or recognise their experiences of abuse This will include women from the black and ethnic minority community, LGBT people and men.

Tom Halpin, Chief Executive, Sacro, explains more: “There is a widely held belief that abuse among men and women in LGBT and black or minority ethnic communities is seriously under- reported. FearLess is available to all and will actively encourage referrals from men and from minority groups within Scotland.

“Survivors of domestic abuse require a wide range of support, not only practical support in regard to having a safe home environment, but emotional support to help them deal with the transition from a fearful existence to one in which they can establish a safe, happy and independent life for themselves and their families. 
“FearLess will provide support in many areas of Scotland.  With the help of this funding from the Big Lottery Fund, Sacro, along with our partner organisations, will be able to help over 1,500 survivors of domestic abuse begin a new life, free of fear and intimidation.’

Brandi Lee, Assistant Policy Director, LGBT Youth Scotland, said,” LGBT Youth Scotland is pleased to be supporting this project, which will raise awareness of domestic abuse experienced by LGBT and black or minority ethnic people.  We are particularly excited to welcome the approach which aims to increase opportunities for face to face support this has the potential to increase access across Scotland for gay, bisexual and transgender men as well as people with non binary gender identities.”

The recent funding comes from the Big Lottery Fund’s Becoming A Survivor programme which, in the last three years, has awarded over £19m to 43 projects across Scotland supporting men, women and families to move on from domestic abuse.

Big Lottery Fund, Scotland Director, Jackie Killeen, said: “We are proud to fund this new approach to supporting people affected by domestic abuse through our Becoming a Survivor programme. The FearLess project will reach out to some of the most vulnerable and hidden people regardless of their age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity or culture.  We see this as adding to and complementing the already sterling work taking place in our communities to tackle domestic abuse head on. By taking a holistic approach to the issue, this project will provide more than just an emergency response. We believe this will make a huge difference to the lives of many people by giving them hope for a brighter future.”

Big Lottery Fund Press Office:  0141 242 1451
Twitter:    @BIGScotland #biglf 
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Notes to editors

  • 60,080 incidents of domestic abuse were recorded by the police in Scotland in 2012-13, compared to 59,847 incidents recorded in 2011-12. This equates to a marginal increase of less than half of 1% in the number of incidents recorded in 2012-13 as compared to 2011-12. Source: Scotland’s Chief Statistician report on Domestic Abuse Recorded by the Police in Scotland, 2012-13 (8 October 2013).
  • In 2012/2013 there were a total of 60,080 incidents of domestic abuse reported to the police in Scotland, of which 57,286 had a gender recorded for the victim. Of these recorded incidents 17% were male victims (9,946). This percentage has gradually increased from 9% in 2003-04.
  • The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK. We are responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery and invest over £650 million a year in projects big and small in health, education, environment and charitable purposes. 
  • Since June 2004 we have awarded over £6.5billion to projects that make a difference to people and communities in need, from early years intervention to commemorative travel funding for World War Two veterans.
  • Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £33 billion has been raised and more than 450,000 grants awarded.


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