Lottery Funds New, FearLess Approach to Tackling Domestic Abuse

Written by
Alan Mairs

A new approach to supporting the hidden victims of domestic abuse in Scotland has today (20 March) received a cash boost of £869,000 from the Big Lottery Fund.

Sacro will roll out the FearLess project in 18 of Scotland’s local authorities combining a domestic abuse helpline with intensive one to one support and mentoring. This will include a range of practical and emotional support including help with accommodation, personal finances, creating a personal safety plan, education, training and employment.

In partnership with statutory agencies, housing providers and three specialist third sector organisations - Shakti Womens Aid, Respect and LGBT Youth - the project will reach out to those people who are less inclined to come forward or see themselves as victims. This will include women from the black and ethnic minority community, the LGBT community, and men.

Tom Halpin, Chief Executive, Sacro, explains more: “There is a widely held belief that abuse among men and women in LGBT and black or minority ethnic communities is seriously under- reported. FearLess is available to all and will actively encourage referrals from men and from minority groups within Scotland.

“Survivors of domestic abuse require a wide range of support, not only practical support in regard to having a safe home environment, but emotional support to help them deal with the transition from a fearful existence to one in which they can establish a safe, happy and independent life for themselves and their families.

“FearLess will provide support in many areas of Scotland. With the help of this funding from the Big Lottery Fund, Sacro, along with our partner organisations, will be able to help over 1,500 survivors of domestic abuse begin a new life, free of fear and intimidation."

Today’s funding comes from the Big Lottery Fund’s Becoming A Survivor programme which, in the last three years, has awarded over £19m to 43 projects across Scotland supporting men, women and families to move on from domestic abuse.

Big Lottery Fund, Scotland Director, Jackie Killeen, said: “We are proud to fund this new approach to supporting victims of domestic abuse through our Becoming a Survivor programme. The FearLess project will reach out to some of the most vulnerable and hidden people regardless of their age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity or culture. We see this as adding to and complementing the already sterling work taking place in our communities to tackle domestic abuse head on. By taking a holistic approach to the issue, this project will provide more than just an emergency response. We believe this will make a huge difference to the lives of many people by giving them hope for a brighter future.”