Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie and equalities spokesperson Caron Lindsay have today written to the leaders of the other major parties to set out proposals for a commission to prevent violence against women to report back within a year of the new Parliament and called on the them to work cross party to make this a reality.
The letter is as follows:
Dear Nicola, Anas, Douglas, Patrick & Lorna,
I know that we have all been moved by the reaction to the death of Sarah Everard as women have shared their experiences of threats, harassment and attack which have left them feeling unsafe on our streets.
We also know that there has been a significant rise in the reporting of domestic abuse during the lockdowns over the past year.
Women in Scotland are feeling angry and let down. I know that you will agree that they must be able to feel safe on our streets and in their homes.
I think it would be a very powerful signal to them that we are all listening if we agreed to establish a Commission to look at ways of preventing violence against women in all its forms, to report within
This new Commission would be separate from Baroness Kennedy’s Working Group on misogyny and criminal justice while reflecting and building upon any recommendations it makes. The Commission would have a wider remit and consult a wide range of stakeholders from government at all levels and civil society. It would look at relevant areas of government including justice, policing, education and local government services.
It’s important that we show that we are working together to address the concerns of Scotland’s women. The Commission would enable us to keep these issues at the forefront of people's minds and show a commitment to protecting women and girls from violence.
I hope that we can join together to make this happen.
Caron Lindsay & Willie Rennie