24 Mar 2021: Rape Crisis Scotland in Crisis
Women are facing delays of more than a year in getting support at some rape crisis centres, and one hub has had to close its waiting list. Ten of 16 regional services reported waiting times getting longer over the past 12 months, according to information released by the Scottish Government. Victims are waiting too long for help, and Edinburgh’s centre has stopped offering new appointments.
Rape Crisis Scotland slammed the “agonizing waits” women face, and called for all parties to commit to proper funding for services in their manifestos ahead of the Holyrood election in May.
The group’s chief executive Sandy Brindley said: “Rape crisis services should be available at the point of need but far too many survivors of sexual violence face agonising waits for support due to inadequate funding. We are asking all political parties going into the election to commit to sustainable funding for essential services like ours. Access to support when you need it should be the very least we can offer to anyone who has been raped or sexually abused.”
Central Scotland MSP Ms Lennon, whose parliamentary question uncovered the figures, added: “It beggars belief that Nicola Sturgeon’s own constituents in Glasgow are having to wait up to 12 months and in Edinburgh the year-long waiting list is currently closed. Rape survivors deserve better than these shocking delays. The SNP has had 14 years to deliver sustainable funding for rape crisis centres and has failed. We need bold action to fix this.”
Comment: The financial support to Rape Crisis Scotland and its sister organisations is hopelessly inadequate. Many “very real” incidents of rape and sexual assault on women in Scotland are not being investigated which galls many who regarded the unwarranted Alex Salmond debacle a travesty. (The Sun)
The blatant abuse of power by the SNP Government
Alex Salmond retired from the Scottish political scene in 2014 and was enjoying a new career as a political commentator with his own very succesful weekly show when, early in 2018, he was notified by an ex-colleague that he was under investigation by the Civil Service who were following up historical (2013) complaints against him from two former work associates. The sequence of events from that time until very recently caused great distress for Alex, his family and friends.
Alex was hounded from pillar to post, day-after-day, week-after-week, month-after-month, year-after-year, by “establishment” figures including those from the civil service, former colleagues, (many of whom owed their political careers to Alex) solicitors, law officers, the police, unscrupulous journalists, government funded Rape Crisis organisations, whose persistent warped press announcements on events as they unravelled caused the complainers great distress.
The attacks on his integrity and behaviour were aired in the highest court of the land and anyone who wished to be heard was given the opportunity to state their case against him to a judge and jury (primarily female). Every charge levelled against Alex was dismissed, a number scathingly commented upon by the judge as being far fetched and short on truth.
The court case and high profile inquiry’s all fully vindicated Alex and should have seen an end to the snide comments and the political and personal smears and innuendo’s but they persist, primarily fanned by persons whom Alex counted as friends.
Cost estimates to the taxpayer attributed to the vindictive and shambolic government pursuit of Alex Salmond vary between £5-£7m. Money which would have been better spent by Rape Crisis Scotland clearing up a massive backlog of genuine sexual assaults on women in Scotland
02 Mar 2018: Sex scandals in Scottish parliament under Nicola Sturgeon’s watch
The publication date, early March 2018, is very relevant. This was a Scottish Government survey conducted right at the start of the efforts to destroy the reputation of Alex Salmond.
The report was a political bombshell, and yet it never appeared in any of the copious senior management texting correspondence. Nicola Sturgeon maintained she knew nothing about anything, which is impossible to believe since she read and commented on the document.
The October 2017, “Me2” campaign and the Westminster sex scandal arising from it prompted the completion of a confidential survey of people employed at Holyrood, including MSPs, their staff, parliamentary workers, and news reporters. Over 1000 individuals responded and the results were shocking.
The Holyrood sexual harassment report was sent to Nicola Sturgeon at the beginning of March 2018. It listed more than 200 allegations of harassment, most dating from 2016. Of the 137 women who said they had been sexually harassed, 67 reported that the perpetrator was an MSP. The report was quickly buried, and only Alex Salmond was put through the ringer. Why?
The findings showed that Holyrood perpetrators were nearly always male, regardless of the gender of the victim and in the majority of cases, the alleged perpetrator was in a position of authority.
Reports included 5 instances where the perpetrator had attempted to pinch or grope the victim’s bottom, and 10 where they had tried to kiss their victim. There was even 1 attempt to grope the breast of a woman, and another attempt to grab at a victim’s crotch.
The report also indicated that victims and their perpetrators were “most likely” to come from the same group of people. Nine of the 13 MSPs who had reported sexual harassment said their abuser had been another MSP.
Some 40 percent of respondents said they had been targeted by a parliamentary worker, and a further 20 percent by a member of MSPs’ staff. The total percentage exceeds 100 percent, as some respondents reported more than one case of harassment.
A total of 29 percent of respondents – which is approximately 300 people – said they had witnessed sexual harassment. One-in-five women said they had received sexist comments, 16 percent reported unwanted looks or leers, and another nine percent reported unwanted physical contact.
Of concern was that 11 people who had reported harassment said their cases were not taken seriously or acted on by their managers, while four said their complaints had caused problems for them at work. Most had taken no action at all, and a quarter of respondents said they didn’t feel confident that they knew how to report such incidents. (Sputnik)
The Scottish National party (SNP) is the only party in Scotland that cannot provide evidence of overhauling its sexual harassment policy following the #MeToo revelations of November 2017. This after a confidential survey conducted on 01 March 2018 found that one in 10 staff had experienced sexual harassment, 45% of whom said that the perpetrator was an MSP.
After note: All political parties, apart from the SNP, introduced revised procedures after 2017. Asked for comment, the SNP said it “continually looks to improve [its] policies and processes” and planned to introduce, in time, trained sexual harassment advisers.
The SNP is the only party which did not at the time display a code of conduct and relevant harassment policy on its website, or offer an easily searchable contact phone numbers or email to make a complaint. Indeed, the SNP code of conduct made no mention of sexual harassment specifically. (Guardian)