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Tuesday, 28 May, 2002, 14:47 GMT 15:47 UK
Kirk to probe domestic violence
Domestic violence advertising campaign
The Kirk is backing an ecumenical initiative
An in-depth study of domestic violence has been ordered by the Church of Scotland.

The move, agreed by the Kirk's General Assembly, is aimed at increasing understanding of the problem.

The gathering in Edinburgh also gave the Kirk's Guild its approval to join an ecumenical initiative launched by the Catholic Church to tackle domestic violence.

The call to produce a report on domestic violence came from Rev Sheila Blount, minister at Old and St Modan's Church in Falkirk.


It's a matter of deep concern which affects not just women but also men and children

Rev. Sheila Blount

"Domestic violence is around for all of us - it's not just on television soap programmes," she told the General Assembly.

"It's an area prevalent in our society. Domestic violence affects the home life of our nation.

"It's a matter of deep concern which affects not just women but also men and children."

The church and nation committee, which formulates the Kirk's social and political policies, will draft the report in time for next year's General Assembly.

'Derisory contributions'

Meanwhile, the Church of Scotland's social responsibility convener told of his "sadness and anger" that four of the Kirk's care homes face closure due to a lack of funding.

Rev. Jim Cowie singled out Scotland's local authorities for specific criticism, accusing them of making derisory contributions to the running costs of the homes.

In his speech to the General Assembly, he said: "It has been a great sadness, and not without some anger, that we have had to cut back on some of our work, particularly, though not exclusively, with older people.

General Assembly
The General Assembly is meeting in Edinburgh

"We have annually brought before this assembly the drain on our reserves and the inhibition of new services which has been brought about by the 'care gap' - the consistent underfunding by local authorities of care of the elderly."

However, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla) rejected the claims and said councils were supporting the care of the elderly.

Cosla's president Councillor Pat Watters said: "We must move away from the mindset of individual pots of money - our interest now is that the money available is spent on the elderly and that they are accommodated to the highest possible standards.

"The important thing missed by the Church of Scotland is that councils are delivering on this agreement."

See also:

27 May 02 | Scotland
26 May 02 | Scotland
25 May 02 | Scotland
25 May 02 | Scotland
18 Apr 02 | Scotland
16 Apr 02 | Scotland
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