The campaign to end violence against women is a deep rooted problem that needs sustained focus and funding, the councillor in charge of equalities has said.

In an exclusive interview with the Glasgow Times, Jen Layden, community empowerment, equalities and human rights convenor at Glasgow City Council said gaps in services need to be addressed and attitudes need to be challenged.

Ms Layden welcomed progress and praised a recent Police Scotland campaign targeting younger men but said the problem is still serious and there can be no let up.

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She said “My view is violence against women is a social pandemic.

Glasgow Times:

“It is entrenched in society and we need to tackle this. We need sustained funding.”

The councillor said the pandemic has exacerbated some problems and allowed a greater focus on finding solutions.

She said: “We have been doing a lot of work on social recovery, addressing inequalities from the pandemic.

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“One of those is violence against women. There is a lot of work being done in the Violence Against Women Partnership through the equally safe strategy.

“It is multi-faceted. It is about attitudes as well as perpetrators.

“The new Act looking at coercive control has been a help.

“The campaign from Police Scotland ‘Don’t be that guy’ has raised the game, tackling micro aggression. Men have to be part of the solution.”

She said the Scottish Government has committed to a national review of funding for violence against women.

Ms Layden added: “That is very timely.”

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She said there is a need for a social recovery taskforce to mirror the economic recovery taskforce.

Ms Layden said: “There is a new community action plan for the city. The Glasgow Community Partnership draft is due in February.”

She noted a range of other ongoing initiatives, including work with Glasgow Centre for Population Health who highlight issues within communities and safety of women in parks.

The pandemic has seen a greater resilience in communities with people volunteering and ensuring support has been offered where needed

She said the council can help with building closer relationships within communities.

It is an awareness and willingness she wants to strengthen and not allow it to weaken after the pandemic

Ms Layden added: “The pandemic has moved a stronger focus onto equalities. There’s a more stark view of it.”