Page last updated at 06:31 GMT, Thursday, 12 March 2009

Abused women being 'turned away'

Abused woman
Women's Aid said 52% of women seeking refuge had been turned away

More than half of all women seeking refuge from domestic abuse in Scotland are turned away due to a lack of space, according to a welfare agency.

Scottish Women's Aid said the figure underlined the need for more funding.

It is to show a short film which highlights the role that local Women's Aid plays in helping victims.

The film contains interviews with women who talk about their experiences of domestic abuse and how Women's Aid provided a life-line.

"Changing Lives: Women's Aid in Scotland" will be shown at the Glasgow Film Theatre.

Speaking ahead of the showing, Lily Greenan, manager of Scottish Women's Aid, called for political leadership to safeguard services.

"This film is a powerful testament to women's strength and resilience in the face of awful adversity but it is also hard-hitting and completely unapologetic about the desperate need for councils to fund Women's Aid services," she said.

Scottish Women's Aid have produced a short film to highlight how they help victims

"Political leadership has never been more important than it is now.

"It is unacceptable for women and their children to be turned away when they are at their most vulnerable and in need of safety and support.

"The big worry for us in this current economic climate is that women and children experiencing domestic abuse will have even less access to help and support unless local councils are committed to funding this work."

Among those appearing in the film is Scottish actor David Paisley, who has personal experience of living in Women's Aid safe accommodation as a child.

There were 49,655 incidents of domestic abuse recorded by police in Scotland in 2007-08, compared to the 48,801 the previous year.

In 85% of those incidents the perpetrator was male and the victim female.

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