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Equally safe at work

9th December 2019

Highland council members today (9 December 2019) wholeheartedly gave their support to a report to Council on tackling gender-based violence.

Highland Council has been working closely with trade union colleagues and Close the Gap to create a zero-tolerance culture towards gender-based violence.

Gender-based violence affects all aspects of women's lives, including employment and the Council is committed to supporting women so they can stay in work and access the services they need.

Throughout the past year the Council has been progressing an action plan, which is designed to deliver against the six standards of the Equally Safe at Work (ESAW) accreditation programme.

One of the key aspects is leadership, which plays a crucial role in creating and sustaining a change-oriented organisational culture. It is proposed to create this culture through policy development, training and communication.

Lesley Weber, Executive Chief Officer for Health and Social Care, said: "It is statistically likely that within our places of employment there will be colleagues and employees who have experienced or are experiencing domestic abuse or other forms of gender based violence. As set out in the Equally Safe at Work paper, Highland council is committed to addressing and tackling gender-based violence through policy, training, communication and enabling an effective reporting mechanism. Highland Council is committed to working towards the accreditation of Equally Safe at Work, and through strong leadership will promote both the principles and commit to sustained organisational culture change.

"Having the genuine support of leaders in advancing gender equality will send a powerful message to the workforce that this work is very much a priority. It is essential that we demonstrate commitment to, and investment in, the Equally Safe at Work programme, and create a zero-tolerance culture."

Members attending today's full meeting of Highland Council agreed to champion the work of officers to progress gender equality at Highland Council. They also agreed that training and information materials are made available to elected members both through induction and the member development programme.

If you, or someone you know is affected by domestic abuse or any other form of gender based violence, support is available through a range of support services across Highland.

If you, or someone you know is in immediate danger, please phone the police on 999.

Below are details of local Women’s Aid and Rape and Sexual Abuse Service Highland.

Caithness & Sutherland Women’s Aid Monday-Friday 9am-5pm 0345 508 0151 offer follow-on and outreach services for women and children who have experience of domestic abuse and other forms of gender based violence. They also offer telephone support and a drop-in service. The children and young people’s workers offer support via email and text.

Inverness Women’s Aid 01463 220719 provide confidential support to women, children and young people who have experienced or are experiencing domestic abuse in the Inverness, Badenoch, Strathspey & Nairn areas. Support is provided by phone, email or face to face.

Lochaber Women’s Aid 01397 705734 provides confidential information and support to women, young people or children, who are or have been affected by domestic abuse.

Ross-Shire Women’s Aid 01349 863568 (Dingwall) 01478 613365 (Skye) support and protect women, children and young people affected by domestic abuse through one to one support by phone, text or in person, group support, information, advocacy.

Rape and Sexual Abuse Service Highland (RASASH) provides free, confidential emotional support, information and advocacy for survivors of sexual violence and abuse for those aged 13+. RASASH also provides support for non-abusing partners, family and friends of survivors. The confidential local rate support line is available Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 9.30am 1pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays 1pm-4pm on 03330 066 909. If you leave a message outwith these hours, RASASH will respond as soon as they can. You can also email RASASH on If you need support during evenings or weekends, please contact Rape Crisis Scotland Helpline on 08088 010302 6pm-Midnight daily.

National Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline Scotland 24 Hour Helpline 0800 027 1234. A Helpline for all individuals affected by domestic abuse and/or forced marriage.

For further details please visit:


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