If you would like more information on the top charities to help women in Scotland, or are you looking for a specific approach to domestic violence, please find a list of institutions below.
- Scottish Women’s Rights Centre
Focused on bridging the gaps between women’s experiences of gender-based violence and their ability to access free legal, information advice and representation, the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre offers a direct service for survivors with the help of specialist advocacy workers and solicitors. Your consultation will remain entirely confidential unless specialists believe you to be in serious danger, in which case, authorities may be alerted.
- Shakti’s Women’s Aid
Based in Edinburgh and with further outreach staff in Fife, Stirling and Dundee, Shakti’s Women’s Aid focuses on BME women, children and adolescents who have or are experiencing domestic abuse. Our support services are tailored to BME women who may be suffering from culturally-inspired violence including forced marriage, honour-based abuse or female genital mutilation, and offer temporary refuge while survivors decide what to do based on the legal advice they receive from the experienced Shakti’s Women’s Aid team.
- Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center of Scotland County
Offering a 24-hour crisis line, the Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center helps to empower survivors to create a new, violence-free life. With more than sixteen years of experience as the leading provider of crisis services to victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault, we work to provide a model of peace, respect and equality. The DVRCCSC offers appointment-based, long-term counselling for individuals, as well as support groups, temporary emergency shelter and community education as part of their crisis service.
- Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline
Operated by specially trained workers and volunteers and managed by Scottish Women’s Aid, Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline is always open to you – 24 hours a day. Their operators understand the dynamics of domestic violence and forced-marriage-situations and are always at your disposal for free legal advice or simply a listening ear, regardless of your age, sexual orientation or cultural background. Should you not be able to get through to the help line due to the lines being busy, don’t hesitate to leave a message – someone will get back to you within two hours of your original call.
- SAY Women
Focusing their work on women aged 16 to 25, SAY Women is a voluntary organisation offering semi-supported accommodation, 1:1 emotional and practical support and groupwork to survivors of rape, sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse who are homeless or threatened with homelessness. The Supporting Sexually Abused Young Women organisation includes the Accommodation Project made up of one shared 2-bedroom flat and five individual apartments within the same building. These are available on a short-term contract of up to 18 months with the possibility of renewal after a six-month evaluation. The organisation also offers groupwork that allows young women to discuss their experiences in exploring new relationships, self-care and working together for change.
- Victim Support Scotland
With a Victim Support office in every local authority area of Scotland, this charity offers confidential emotional and practical assistance. Victim Support Scotland can help you report the crime and contact housing associations, social services and doctors on your behalf during this stressful time. A team of trained volunteers and specialists will explain the procedures to you in a calm, safe environment and will arrange an advance visit to court to help you familiarise yourself with the surroundings in case of a trial. Victim Support Scotland also offers specialist witness assistance and court preparation techniques for young witnesses.
- Rape Crisis Scotland
Supporting the work of local help centers and developing new offices with no or limited access to crisis support, Rape Crisis Scotland is the national office for the rape crisis movement in the country. Offering support to anyone in the country affected by sexual violence at any stage in their lives, the RCS have been at the forefront of campaigning against sexual violence for more than thirty years. The organisation supports and develops campaigns and projects that aim to raise awareness about sexual violence and prevention work across various age and target groups.
- Cedar Network
With Cedar Networks all around Scotland, the organisation offers a unique way for mothers, children and adolescents to work through their emotional traumas in a safe, warm and specialist environment. The Children Experiencing Domestic Abuse Recovery program takes place over a course of 12 weeks with separate groups for children and adults running in parallel. This program gives mothers and children who have escaped from abusive relationships a chance to recover and rebuild their lives together in a healthy manner. Children and mothers are encouraged to share their experiences in a tone that speaks to their specific age groups and needs through a series of creative activities and are offered practical advice on how to deal with negative emotions and memories.
- Shelter Scotland
Operating under the tagline, “Shelter Scotland exists to defend the right to a safe home”, this organisation offers support, legal services and advice to more than half a million people a year who are faced with homelessness or experiencing bad housing situations, including in cases of domestic violence.
- The Clover Foundation
As a constituent fund of the Women’s Fund for Scotland, The Clover Fund supports women and girls in the West of Scotland in their plight to move out of abusive and violent situation, develop a broad range of skills to build self-confidence and reduce loneliness by building social networks.