The Free Press recently approached Ross-shire, Skye, and Lochalsh Women’s Aid to ask how we could help to highlight the support the organisation provides to people.
Ross-shire Skye and Lochalsh Women’s Aid provides services to women, children, and young people in the Ross-shire, Skye, and Lochalsh areas that are experiencing, or have experienced, the effects of domestic abuse.
It is one of 37 local Women’s Aid groups across Scotland.
Ross-Shire, Skye and Lochalsh Women’s Aid are here for you…
Ross-shire, Skye, and Lochalsh Women’s Aid want you to know that we are here for you.
During the lockdown, we are still providing our specialist support service to women, children, and young people who are experiencing domestic abuse, or who have experienced domestic abuse.
During the Covid-19 period, we continue to provide outreach services and refuge accommodation to women, children, and young people experiencing domestic abuse.
We provide specialised safety planning, support planning, advocacy, emotional and practical support tailored to clients’ individual needs. We also help accessing local services such as housing, benefits, financial and legal advice.
Our teams are currently supporting clients by phone, text, email, social media, and continue to accept new referrals from women, children, and young people.
For women in remote and rural parts of Scotland, the reality of dealing with domestic abuse presents various challenges such as transportation and visitors coming to the clients home does not go unnoticed and social isolation can be compounded by geographical isolation – people can feel very vulnerable in seeking support from their neighbours, police or local doctor due to fear of becoming the subject of local gossip.
These are just a couple of the issues that our women face in rural areas.
But what if we add the current pandemic into the mix?
This then almost eliminates people feeling like they can access support and increases the risk.
So how can you tell if a neighbour, friend or family member needs help?
Domestic abuse is not always physical. Abuse can be emotional, psychological, economical, or sexual.
Coercive control is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, humiliation, threats, and intimidation that is used to harm, punish, or frighten a victim.
This controlling behaviour is designed to make the person dependent by isolating them from support, their family, and friends – depriving them of their independence.
What can you do?
If you believe a woman to be the victim of domestic abuse you can provide a lifeline to this woman and encourage her to get support by contacting us or contact us on the women’s behalf.
Do not approach the perpetrator, this could increase the risk further and put you at risk also.
If you are experiencing domestic abuse, then we would urge you to try and contact our service. We are ready to take your call on 01349 863568 and our team in Dingwall will allocate you to a member of our Skye Team.
We are open Monday to Friday, 9.30 am – 4.30 pm. Alternatively, you can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with us through our Facebook page – Ross-Shire, Skye & Lochalsh Women’s Aid – click here.
And if we are not available there is Scotland’s Domestic Abuse & Forced Marriage Helpline who can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 0800 027 1234 and email@example.com
If it is an emergency, please call the police on 999. If you are unable to indicate to the operator the situation as it is dangerous to talk press 55 and the operator will know you are in danger.
Adele Newlands, Manager for Ross-shire, Skye and Lochalsh Women’s Aid told the Free Press: “More than ever we need people to be aware that we have a service available in Skye and although we might not be able to meet with you face to face at this moment in time we are at the end of the telephone. If you need to speak to someone phone us.
“A window for women to seek help is extremely limited but during periods of isolation this window narrows further.
“If you are a family member, friend, or neighbour with concerns about someone phone us and let us know and we will do our best to help the person.
“The challenges of offering a service like ours in Skye and Lochalsh can be difficult at the best of times but with the impact of Covid-19, we still want to emphasise that this is not a service that should be ignored.
“We have specialist staff who are equipped to help you if you are experiencing domestic abuse.
“It is also important to stress that Covid-19 is not causing domestic abuse, an abuser causes domestic abuse, there is no excuse for abuse at any time!”
If it is an emergency, please call the police on 999.
If you are unable to indicate to the operator the situation as it is dangerous to talk press 55 and the operator will know you are in danger.
Ross-shire, Skye, and Lochalsh Women’s Aid – 01349 863568 – firstname.lastname@example.org and via Facebook – here.
Scotland’s Domestic Abuse & Forced Marriage Helpline is open 24 hours a day / seven days a week – 0800 027 1234 and email@example.com