Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Michael Matheson MSP, and Alison Thewliss MP, will give their support to the global campaign against gender based violence, by speaking at a conference hosted by the Centre for Youth & Criminal Justice (CYCJ) and the University of Strathclyde.
‘Making Education Equally Safe for All: Working with young people to prevent gender-based violence’ will take place on December 1 as part of the 16 Days of International Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign – now in its 25th year.
This conference will raise awareness of the issue of gender-based violence, and highlight the valuable work being done to tackle this. It also marks the launch of the Equally Safe in Higher Education Programme at the University of Strathclyde, who are co-facilitating the event with CYCJ and the University’s Centre for Health Policy.
Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Michael Matheson said:
“It is completely unacceptable that women in Scotland are still at risk of, and experiencing, violence and abuse at any point in their lives – never mind a time when many move away from their homes to a new city or town to study.
“We want our colleges and universities to be world leading in all respects and positive learning environments. The Scottish Government strongly welcomes this year’s UN 16 days of Activism theme of making Education Safe for All. We are committed to ensuring that violence against women is identified early, tackled robustly and eliminated from our campuses.
“The Equally Safe In Higher Education Project, funded by the Scottish Government, is a collaborative, campus-wide project which is working with a range of partners, including student associations, universities, key third sector organisations and Universities Scotland, to ensure existing good practice is shared across the sector. It will also produce a toolkit which will embed Equally Safe throughout the universities, from campus safety programmes to developing modern curriculums.”
Dr Veena O’Halloran, Director of Student Experience and Enhancement Services at the University of Strathclyde, is chairing the conference. She said:
“Gender-based violence has no place in society, and it is critical that we work together to respond effectively whenever it occurs. Universities can play an important role in helping to prevent gender-based violence, wherever it may take place in our communities, and we are committed to supporting this valuable campaign.
“I am particularly pleased that the conference will bring together academics, charities, support agencies and young people, to share ideas and effective practice to make a real difference to those affected, and contribute to the long-term prevention of violence.”
Glasgow Central SNP MP Alison Thewliss is currently campaigning for the UK government to abandon plans to introduce a two child policy and rape clause, now out for consultation. This will restrict entitlement to child tax credits for the first two children, and force women to prove that their third child was born as a result of rape.
NUS Scotland President Vonnie Sandlan will deliver the keynote speech at the conference, and a wide range of representative organisations and projects will showcase their work with young people. These include the Voice Against Violence and Impact Projects, who will talk about the work of young survivors taking action through education; the Interventions for Vulnerable Youth (IVY) Project, who will discuss their work with young people who present a risk of serious harm to others, and findings on the prevalence of domestic abuse in their family backgrounds; and Autism Network Scotland and NUS Women’s Campaign.
Workshops held by Zero Tolerance/CELCIS and Glasgow Rape Crisis Centre’s Rosey Project will provide further opportunities to debate the pertinent issues and share best practice. There will also be information stalls at the conference.
For updates, please follow #16daysStrath on Twitter and check out www.cycj.org.uk for materials relating to the conference.