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Source: Scotland – Highland Council

As thoughts turn to Christmas and a time when, traditionally, families have come together, Highland Violence against Women Partnership recognises that this can be an even harder time of year for those who suffer domestic abuse.

Highland Violence Against Women Partnership (HVAWP) chairperson Jacquelyn Jennett explains: “Christmas should be a peaceful and happy time but we know that it can be inherently difficult for victims and children because perpetrators of domestic abuse are at home more, there can be financial pressures, more alcohol around and, particularly this year, victims are more isolated from friends and family.

“The Violence against Women Partnership message to those who suffer gender based abuse is that no one needs to be alone and suffering. Services across Highland are working together and will be available to support women and children.”

Lochaber Women’s Aid can be contacted on 01397 705734 and are only closed on 25 and 28 December and 1 and 4 January. Staff will be monitoring the phones on all other days. Further information on their service is available at https://www.lochaberwomensaid.org/

Ross-shire Women’s Aid can be contacted on 01349 863568 and further information on their service can be found by visiting https://www.rosswa.co.uk/

Inverness Women’s Aid can be contacted on 01463 220719 and provide outreach support and accommodation for women & children experiencing domestic abuse in Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey. Over the festive season the team will be available to give advice and information 9am – 5pm weekdays, except for 25 Dec & 1 Jan 11am – 2pm.

Please note that out with these times the Scottish Domestic Abuse & Forced Marriage Helpline is available 24 hrs on 0800 027 1234.

Caithness and Sutherland Women’s Aid (CASWA) can be reached by calling 0345 4080151,

CASWA Christmas/New Year Opening hours:

  • Monday 21 December – Thursday 24 December – 10am – 3pm
  • Closed 25, 26, 27, 28 December
  • Tuesday 29 December – Thursday 31 December – 10am – 3pm
  • Closed 1, 2, 3, 4 January 2021

CASWA provides information and confidential support for women, children and young people in Caithness and Sutherland who have experienced or are experiencing domestic abuse.

Their team of domestic abuse specialists provide non-judgemental, person centred support, enabling you to make your own informed choices. Their support is flexible to meet your requirements and can be by telephone, text, email, WhatsApp, video or face to face

Further information is available on their website www.caswa.org.uk

Rape and Sexual Abuse Service Highland (RASASH) can be reached on 03330 066909.

RASASH will be closing on the 23 December at 5:00pm and reopening at 9:30am on the 4 of January.

RASASH Provide accessible, appropriate and high quality emotional and practical support, information and advocacy for survivors, their non-abusing partners, family and friends. They understand that many people may wish to access a support line over this time and can advise that Rape Crisis Scotland confidential line will still be open from 6pm until 12 midnight every evening, with the exception of Christmas Day, 31st Dec and New Year’s Day, when it will be open from 7pm until 11pm. Rape Crisis Scotland can be contacted on 0808 801 0302.

Police Scotland are a member of the Violence against Women Partnership and Detective Chief Inspector Richard Baird has this message for perpetrators of domestic abuse, “Police Scotland is committed to supporting victim survivors of all forms of domestic abuse. We are ready to respond 24 hours a day, every day, wherever someone is in fear or suffering. We have plenty of cells available over Christmas and those who perpetrate domestic abuse can expect to see them up close”. If you are suffering, or have concerns that anyone else is experiencing domestic abuse contact Police Scotland on 101 or 999 in an emergency. 

Highland Violence against Women Partnership would like to take this opportunity to extend their best wishes for a happy, peaceful and safe Christmas this year.

MIL OSI United Kingdom