COUNCIL chiefs have pledged their commitment to helping tackle domestic abuse by signing a decree to mark the start of the 16 Days of Action campaign.

West Dunbartonshire Council’s chief executive Joyce White and domestic abuse champion Councillor Caroline McAllister, supported by elected members and senior officers signed the White Ribbon pledge to raise awareness of gender-based domestic violence and promise never to excuse, commit or remain silent about domestic abuse.

The move arrives after new figures revealed West Dunbartonshire has the highest rate of domestic abuse in Scotland.

The 16 Days of Action campaign, which began last week on International Day against Violence against Women through to International Human Rights Day which falls on December 10, aims to increase awareness of male victims, highlight the nature and prevalence of violence against women, and strengthen local work to tackle violence against women.

It also raises awareness of the men, women and children who have suffered or are suffering domestic abuse and the help available through various agencies across West Dunbartonshire.

Cllr McAllister said: “As domestic abuse champion in West Dunbartonshire, I am delighted to officially sign the pledge and give my commitment to the White Ribbon Domestic Abuse Campaign.

“The council along with West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership (WDHSCP) is fully committed to eradicating domestic abuse from our communities and we are actively working in partnership to tackle gender-based violence.

“Sadly and despite the significant ongoing work, West Dunbartonshire has the highest rates of domestic abuse in Scotland and more worrying a high rate of repeat offenders which is very disappointing.”

She added: “Together we must work to address the issues faced by our residents and find a way to stop violence against women, children and men. We need to get the message out that domestic abuse is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in West Dunbartonshire.”

Tackling domestic abuse and eliminating violence against women is a key priority for the council and WDHSCP, which will work with Police Scotland and local partners are also meeting to address the rise in domestic abuse locally., which was recently revealed as the worst in the country.

Beth Culshaw, chief officer of WDHSCP, said: “There is no place in society for any form of domestic abuse, and we are committed to working with our partners to address the issues we face in West Dunbartonshire.”

She added: “Given our commitment to tackling domestic abuse, it is noted as a key priority within our Local Outcome Improvement Plan for West Dunbartonshire. The HSCP and its partners will continue to work together to raise awareness and provide early interventions to stop the cycle of domestic abuse in West Dunbartonshire.”

For help and support, victims of domestic abuse can contact:

  • Clydebank District Women’s Aid 0141 952 8118
  • Dumbarton District Women’s Aid 01389 751036
  • The CARA (Challenging and Responding to Abuse) Project Women’s Service 01389 738595 or 01389 738278;
  • Men’s Advice Line: Confidential helpline for men experiencing domestic violence 0808 801 0327
  • Police Scotland: 999 (emergency) or 101 (non-emergency).