'Violence against women' or 'Gender base violence' is recognised by North Ayrshire Council as a significant community safety issue which impacts people across all our communities.
There are various forms of gender based violence, including:
- sexual assault
- commercial sexual exploitation
- sexual harassment
- forced marriage
- female genital mutilation
- domestic abuse
Domestic abuse is persistent and controlling behaviour by a partner or ex-partner which causes physical, sexual and/or emotional harm. There may be no bruises. It often gets worse over time and can:
- happen if you are living with someone or not
- happen whether you have children or not
- cut across class, ethnic and social boundaries
- undermine self confidence and self esteem
- take the form of withholding money and finances, monitoring your movements, restricting what you wear, who you see, where you go, what you say (online and off)
- manipulating, or forcing someone to do something sexual they don't want to
- involve physical violence
- involve stalking and isolating you from your friends and family.
If you feel threatened, fearful or undermined by a partner or ex-partner, please find sources of help below.
Report domestic abuse
Report domestic abuse to the police online. In an emergency dial 999.
Get help and information
- North Ayrshire Women's Aid, call: 01294 602424
- Scottish Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline, call: 0800 027 1234 (open 24/7)
- LGBT Youth Scotland, call or text: 07786 202 370
- Rape Crisis Helpline, freephone: 08088 01 03 02 (between 6pm and midnight)
- Break the Silence (Childhood Sexual Abuse), call: 01563 559558
- Lone Parents Helpline, call 0808 801 0323
- Scottish Women's Rights Centre, call: 08088 010 789 (Tuesday 6pm to 9pm and Wednesday 1.30pm to 4.30pm) - confidential legal helpline for women affected by violence or abuse).
Support for men
- Men's Advice Line, call: 0808 801 0327 (10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm)
- Respect phone line, call: 0808 802 4040 - a confidential helpline for perpetrators of domestic abuse
- NHS Open Road, call: 0141 420 7284 - a service for men who perform sexual acts in exchange for payment (this could be money, drinks, drugs, consumer goods, a bed for the night).
Children Experiencing Domestic Abuse Recovery Project (CEDAR)
Domestic abuse is damaging to children as well as to the mother/child relationship. The CEDAR project recognises that mothers are best placed to support children in their recovery. Referrals can be made by any agency or a child or family member. For more information, or to make a referral, visit the CEDAR website.
Our work to reduce domestic violence
North Ayrshire Violence Against Women Strategy
North Ayrshire Community Safety Services supports and co-ordinates the work of the North Ayrshire Violence Against Women Partnership (NAVAWP), which brings together partners that have a role in tacking gender based violence as well as supporting those who are affected. The NAVAWP has responsibility for delivering the North Ayrshire VAW Strategy (PDF, 1.87mb)
Multi-Agency Domestic Abuse Response Team (MADART)
MADART has been established to improve collaboration between agencies on domestic abuse issues. It comprises the Health and Social Care Partnership, housing and police and works in partnership with a range of services including:
- welfare rights
- Women's Aid
Home Security Project
This initiative provides additional security measures to enable those experiencing harassment, violence (or threat of violence) and/or anti-social behaviour to remain, and feel safer, in their homes.
Health and Social Care Partnership
The Health and Social Care Partnership, housing and the police work together to identify and address domestic abuse throughout Ayrshire. The police will automatically inform the Health and Social Care Partnership of any reported incidents of domestic abuse where children are members of the same household.
The Caledonian System
The Caledonian System provides help to families affected by domestic abuse. This programme works with men convicted of domestic abuse related offences to reduce their chances of reoffending. It works with affected women and children by providing them with integrated support services. Participation in the Caledonian System can run as part of a community payback order.
White Ribbon Campaign
North Ayrshire Council and the VAW Partnership support this campaign to involve men by signing a pledge 'not to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women'. Sign the White Ribbon Campaign pledge.