£1m boost for domestic abuse charities

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DOMESTIC abuse charities in the Capital have been awarded more than £1 million from the Big Lottery Fund.

Shakti Women’s Aid, Abused Men in Scotland, and a new project to help women affected by domestic abuse were among the recipients of the latest round of handouts from the fund.

Shakti Women’s Aid will use its £419,991 grant to expand its outreach project which provides holistic support to women from black and minority ethnic (BME) communities who are experiencing domestic abuse, including honour-based violence and forced marriage.

Its five-year Black and Minority Ethnic Outreach and Independent Living project will provide information and emotional and practical support to BME women who have experience of domestic abuse, including help with accessing suitable accommodation.

Girijamba Polubothu, manager of Shakti Women’s Aid said: “It [the grant] will enable Shakti to effectively extend its outreach support, emotional and practical, to young women fleeing from honour-based violence and forced marriage and who may need support to complete their education, as well as meet the increasing demand for the service.”

Another project, run by Midlothian and East Lothian Councils is also set to help female domestic abuse victims after being granted £500,000.

The Support to Maintain Independent Living Effectively (SMILE), will provide an additional domestic abuse adviser who will offer one-to-one emotional and practical support for women in their own homes and particularly deal with issues surrounding substance misuse.

Councillor Catherine Johnstone, cabinet member for health and social care at Midlothian Council, said The East and Midlothian Violence Against Women Partnership was “absolutely delighted” at the funding which she described as “a massive boost to this worthwhile project”.

Men Abused in Scotland, set up specifically for male victims of domestic abuse in 2009, will be using its £419,283 grant to expand the operating hours of its national helpline service 
and will also be developing a new four-year project dedicated to supporting men in the city.

katie.richardson@edinburghnews.com