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West Lothian marks beginning of 16 Days of Action

West Lothian Council is supporting the 16 days of action campaign to tackle gender-based violence in our society.

30 November
16 days of action rally cropped

A special rally took place at West Lothian Civic Centre on Friday 23 November to mark the campaign, which runs from International Women's Day on Sunday 25 November to International Human Rights Day on Monday 10 December.

Those in attendance at the rally got to hear empowering speeches from representatives from local community planning partners and charities.

West Lothian schools' pipe band supported the event along with pupils from Mid Calder Primary who came along and performed a haka on gender equality.  Local high school pupils and education staff were also in attendance.

A series of multi-agency events have also been arranged during the 16 days, including training sessions, school activities and awareness-raising stalls at Livingston Designer Outlet.

Depute Council Leader Kirsteen Sullivan said: "I'd like to thank everyone who attended the rally in support of the 16 Days of Action campaign. Violence against women is a violation of human rights and a criminal offence and it's vital we do all we can to prevent this here in West Lothian.

"Events are taking place all over the world to tackle the issue, and locally, partner agencies are committed to working together towards our shared goal challenging and eliminating violence against women and girls from our society.

"It was inspiring to hear from our school pupils and representatives from across our community and it really highlighted that in West Lothian, we are committed to ensuring our communities are safe places, offering improved life chances for all and a better quality of life for everyone."

Help is available for anyone experiencing  gender based violence or domestic abuse through the specialists in the council's Domestic and Sexual Assault Team (DASAT) and West Lothian Women's Aid (WLWA).  

Ilena Brown, Manager of West Lothian Women's Aid said: "This is a welcome opportunity to raise awareness of domestic abuse and encourage anyone in need of support to come forward.

"Domestic abuse between partners or former partners is characterised by a pattern of controlling and coercive behaviour over time intended to cause fear and alarm. The abuse can include physical, emotional, financial and/or sexual abuse for which there is no place within today's society."

Please contact DASAT on 01506 281055 or dasat@westlothian.gov.uk or WLWA on 01506 473721 or info@wlwa.org.uk for confidential and friendly support.

In an emergency, always call the police on 999.

Other useful telephone numbers

  • Victim Support - 01506 635050
  • Domestic Abuse Helpline - 0800 027 1234
  • Childline - 8088 1111
  • Shakti Women's Aid - 0131 475 2399
  • Family Mediation Lothian - 0131 226 4507
  • Edinburgh Women's Rape & Sexual Assault Centre - 0131 556 9437
  • SCET (Social Work Emergency Team - Out of Hours Service) - 01506 281028 or 281029
  • West Lothian Council Housing - 01506 280000
  • Domestic Abuse Liaison Officer - 01506 833834
  • Breathing Space - 0800 838587 (Lines open Monday-Thursday, 6pm to 2am and Friday 6pm to Monday 6am)
  • Rape Crisis Helpline - 08088 01 03 02 (Lines open 7 days from 6pm to midnight)
  • Police Scotland can be contacted on 999 in an emergency, or 101.

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