Groups which help women and children who have been sexually abused are to
share a £5m Scottish Executive handout.
Services are to receive government funding
Communities Minister Margaret Curran announced the move on Monday - International Women's Day.
News that almost 80 projects will receive funding has been welcomed by women's welfare organisations such as Rape Crisis Scotland.
Ms Curran paid tribute to the work they do and said the executive was
delighted to give them financial help.
She said: "Far too many women and children live miserable lives shrouded in secrecy, abuse and violence.
"Far too many men think it is their right to exploit their power at the cost of others. Domestic and sexual abuse happens all over Scotland.
"No-one should have to live in fear and that is why support services like
this are vital."
Among the groups which will share in the money is a project in Glasgow which helps women who have been sexually exploited.
Sandy Brindley, of Rape Crisis Scotland, said: "It will make a significant
difference to the support available to women and girls in Scotland experiencing sexual violence."
Meanwhile, Green MSP Shiona Baird has called on the executive to consider
setting up dedicated refuges for women who have been trafficked for sexual
She has also tabled a motion at the Scottish Parliament calling on other MSPs
to support her.
Ms Baird, a list MSP for North East Scotland, said: "Many victims are lured
by promises of work in the UK as waitresses or similar but are forced into
"This includes controlling their freedom of movement, where and when they
will work and what pay, if any, they will receive.
"I am therefore urging the Scottish Executive to conduct research to
determine the number of trafficked women in Scotland and to consider
establishing dedicated refuge and support services for such women."