NEW guidance has been welcomed by West Dunbartonshire Council as they commit to ending domestic abuse within the area.

All councils across Scotland will receive more support to help deal with increased levels of abuse during the lockdown.

The news follows figures which reveal 34 domestic abuse victims within the council area reached out to WDC for help during lockdown – a time when sufferers are likely to feel more vulnerable than ever.

The new Scottish Government and COSLA guidance signposts to local resources and assists decision-makers in identifying women and children at risk as well as the short, medium, and long-term steps they can take to support their recovery and wellbeing.

A spokeswoman for WDC told the Post: "We remain committed to ending domestic violence in West Dunbartonshire and welcome any additional resource which will complement our existing support offer to ensure every victim knows how to access the help they need."

The guidance is part of a range of measures introduced, including a £1.5 million funding package for the women's aid and rape crisis network.

It will help to maximise the effective protection and provision of support, during the crisis period and in the longer term.

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Gil Paterson, Clydebank's MSP, said: "Another disturbing side to the coronavirus lockdown is this increased domestic abuse – which is deeply disheartening. I am glad to see special guidance issued."

Christina McKelvie, equalities minister, added: "It is unacceptable that people are at risk from those they live with. While these times are difficult for all of us, there are unfortunately those who are more badly affected.

"Some women and children may feel more even isolated now and need our help more than ever.

"This guidance will support the strong leadership already being demonstrated by local authorities and their key community planning partners across Scotland.

"We want to continue to work with our partners and to share intelligence, shape the ongoing crisis response and plan for the long term.

"Together, the Scottish Government and COSLA are committed to tackling violence against women and girls wherever it exists and through whatever form it manifests. Our work in this area remains at the heart of our joint response to Covid-19."