Rural women needed to help research project

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Women in rural Argyll and its islands who have lived with domestic abuse are being urged to share their experiences on getting help and support.

Their views are needed for a new research project to help Argyll & Bute Violence Against Women Partnership make sure information about the service it offers can be easy to find and to contact – wherever anyone lives in the area.

Researcher Dr Anni Donaldson is hoping women who have experienced threats, abuse or violence from a partner, boyfriend or ex in the last three years will get in touch with her so her findings can cover the whole of the region.

She also wants to be in touch with more harder-to-reach women living in some of Argyll’s most remote communities.

Researcher Dr Anni Donaldson said: ‘We want to hear your views and will be carrying out safe, confidential one-to-one interviews at a time and in a way that is safe for you.’

To find out more about the research project and how to take part, you can contact Dr  Donaldson in confidence by emailing  adresearch52@gmail.com or calling 07946109839 between 10am and 4pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and
Thursdays.

Information gathered from confidential interviews will help the partnership keep up its work making sure domestic violence against women is not tolerated and that the right services are in place to support survivors.

Access to services can be difficult for some women living in particularly remote areas of the county, hampered by lack of internet, phone signal and transport.

If you answer yes to the question does or did your partner, boyfriend or ex try to control what you do, where you go, or other choices you want to make in your daily life then it is possible you are experiencing domestic abuse.

One in four women in Scotland experience domestic abuse and the harms they are subjected to can include physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse.

Across Argyll and Bute in 2020/21 there were 667 incidences of domestic abuse recorded by police.

Although the region has one of the lowest rates of recorded domestic abuse countrywide, ‘it is estimated domestic abuse is widely under-reported so it is very likely to be going on despite what the crime figures say,’ according to Dr  Donaldson.

A new domestic abuse law in Scotland now recognises psychological harm, as well as physical harm, as an offence. This means abusers engaging in patterns of coercive and controlling behaviour – behaviour that has taken place on two or more occasions – can now be punished by law.

Argyll & Bute Violence Against Women Partnership brings together key partners including the council, health board, police, housing organisations and voluntary groups making sure they have policies and procedures that support survivors of domestic abuse and their families. It also works to create programmes for perpetrators to address their behaviour.

You can find out more about Argyll and Bute Council’s pledge to make a stand against domestic abuse as well as numbers to contact for support on its website at https://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/domestic-abuse