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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 November 2007, 00:29 GMT
Domestic abuse 'must be tackled'
Woman on bed
The report studied domestic violence, rape and stalking
More needs to be done to tackle violence against women in Scotland, campaigners have urged.

The Equality Commission said one in 10 women were attacked in some way each year but that Scotland leads the way in support services.

It is the only part of the UK which has seen an expansion of centres run by the Rape Crisis organisation.

However, the commission said that not enough was being done to tackle male violence in the first place.

The findings came in a report by The Equality and Human Rights Commission and the End Violence Against Women Coalition (EVAW).

Preventing male violence in the first place and prosecuting those who are responsible must always be at the forefront of the drive to make Scotland a safer place
Morag Alexander
Scotland Commissioner of the Commission for Equality

It warned that one in 10 women suffered some sort of violence each year, whether sexual assault, domestic violence, sexual harassment or stalking.

The groups have called on the rest of the UK to follow the lead set by the Scottish Government in the services it provides for female victims, but said Scotland could do more when it comes to violence prevention.

Morag Alexander, Scotland commissioner of The Equality and Human Rights Commission, said violence against women was a hidden epidemic of unimaginable proportions.

She said: "I am pleased that the approach taken in Scotland of supporting women whose lives have been affected by violence is proven to be the best in the UK but this is not enough.

Government campaign
Several campaigns have highlighted the problems

"Preventing male violence in the first place and prosecuting those who are responsible must always be at the forefront of the drive to make Scotland a safer place and here we don't do quite as well.

"The Scottish Government has shown that it supports the essential work that is driven by and for women in voluntary sector rape crisis centres and domestic abuse refuges.

"Now it must show that it can use its powers to prevent violence and to prosecute offenders."

Many attacks go unreported, although figures released on Tuesday showed the number of recorded incidents of domestic went up 7% last year to 48,800.

Ann Hamilton, of EVAW, said: "In Scotland we've seen an expansion of provision because of the recognition of the impact of the issue, the priority which it has been given by both central and local government and the acknowledged value of the role and expertise of the women's voluntary sector in delivering quality, sensitive services.

"It's important that ongoing pressure on budgets does not mean that we slip back from this position."

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