Women continue to be terrorised and oppressed - and after 40 years, Clydebank Women’s Aid (CWA) has vowed that their “fight goes on”.

The collective is marking four decades of life-saving work this year, but it’s a bittersweet celebration.

It is believed at least 15 women have been killed by their partners in the UK within a two month period during the pandemic.

And whatever changes there have been to legislation and understanding of the scourge of domestic violence, not a day goes by for CWA where the scale of the issue isn’t obvious.

“We see time and time again women, children and young people abused, tormented, harassed, abused, stalked, raped, and killed at the hands of abusive men,” the collective told the Post.

“And we are tired, but remain resolute.

“The reality for women has remained consistent - a reality where women are objectified, subjugated, torn down and silenced whilst abusive men, and the patriarchal systems that were created and cultivated for their benefit, continue to absolve them of responsibility.”

The group said despite their work and that of others, domestic abuse still hasn’t been recognised as “intimate terrorism that it is”.

Even as the problem of violence continues across Clydebank and the country, CWA condemned the decision of North Lanarkshire Council to redirect funding away from three women’s aid groups in the area.

West Dunbartonshire Council (WDC) confirmed to the Post they are not putting domestic violence work out to tender.

Funding for CWA, and other groups, will be confirmed after the March 22 budget meeting.

“Are we witnessing the beginning of Scottish local authorities selling the safety of women, children and young people to the lowest bidder?” warned CWA.

“Budgets should not be the only criteria for funding. This is a deliberate and insidious attempt to dissolve our collective consciousness and our specialism by masking the higher rates of a abuse that women are subjected to – all in the name of cutting costs.

“We are calling for an end of the postcode lottery of funding for services. While we are in the lucky position that WDC have not taken this action it in no way alleviates our fears about the future of our service.”

CWA added: “We cannot allow the support of women, children and young people to become a business. Tendering domestic abuse services is immoral if it threatens the rights and safety of women children and young people, and this is exactly what we are witnessing at a time where the existence of Covid-19 exacerbates additional barriers to accessing support.”

Monday marked International Women’s Day and CWA said they had started to reflect on their 40 years of campaigning and striving towards the eradication of domestic abuse.

The collective said: “That’s 40 years of cups of tea, of tears shed and stories shared, 40 years of the countless number of women, children young people who have accessed our service, lived in our refuge and went on to have – we hope – lives full of happiness that are free from abuse.

“We never expected that we would be here this long. We hoped that we would no longer be needed – now in 2021, as one of the oldest charities in Clydebank area, we see that although things are different than they were in 1981, there is still progress to be made.

“Women’s realities are not radically different than what they were 40 years ago. Whether we are here for another five, 10, or 40 years, we remain resolute. If you are experiencing domestic abuse, we are here for you.”

Contact CWA on 0141 952 8118 from Monday to Thursday, 10am to 4pm, and 10am to 1pm on Fridays. You can also email collective.clydebankwa@gmail.com.