• Tackling Violence Against Women

    Equally Safe: Scotland’s strategy for preventing and eradicating violence against women and girls sets out the Scottish Government and COSLA’s shared vision for a strong and flourishing Scotland where all individuals are equally safe and respected, and where women and girls live free from all forms of violence and abuse – and the attitudes that help perpetuate it.


    Through coordinating the National VAW Network and the National Cedar Project, the Improvement Service aims to support local councils and their partners to improve outcomes for women, children and young people affected by violence against women and girls.

  • National Violence Against Women Network


    Equally Safe highlights the need for agencies across every area of Scottish life to work together to tackle violence against women and girls.  At a local level, Violence Against Women (VAW) Partnerships are recognised as the key driver for this multi-agency work.


    To support this work, the Improvement Service coordinates the National VAW Network which aims to improve the capacity and capability of VAW Partnerships to implement the ambitions set out in Equally Safe at a local level and to support partnerships to engage effectively with community planning processes.


    The network brings together VAW Partnership Coordinators/Lead Officers across Scotland and other key stakeholders including the Scottish Government and COSLA to share information, learning and resources and ensure that there is meaningful engagement and a coordinated approach taken on relevant issues.


    The network meets six times a year and also has a KHub group where members can connect to each other on an ongoing basis.

  • National Cedar Project

    The Improvement Service has been awarded funding from the Big Lottery Fund to provide strategic support to Cedar groups working in 8 local authority areas across Scotland.


    Cedar (Children Experiencing Domestic Abuse Recovery) is currently the only evidence-based, domestic abuse recovery programme operating in Scotland that takes a collaborative, strengths-based approach to working with children and young people, and their mothers. The model has a strong track record of improving outcomes for children and young people affected by domestic abuse and has proven highly effective at supporting families that other services struggle to engage with.


    Over the next three years, the Improvement Service will be coordinating the National Cedar Network, which brings together representatives from Cedar groups across Scotland to share information, learning and resources. We will also be providing strategic support to individual Cedar groups to assist them to become more integrated and sustainable at local level, and help them to better measure and demonstrate their impact and deliver improved outcomes for children and young people affected by domestic abuse.


    For more information about Cedar, please visit the Cedar Network Khub page.

  • Support for Elected Members and CPPs

    Violence Against Women is an issue that affects all communities and we want to encourage members to become involved in tackling all forms of violence against women, as well as the attitudes and structures that perpetuate it.


    The Improvement Service aims to make sure that elected members and community planning partnerships are up to date with developments and the challenges across Scotland by producing a range of briefings, promoting events, highlighting campaigns and presenting examples where multi-agency partnership working is making a difference in tackling violence against women.


    We hope these resources will help to stimulate healthy, positive debate and discussion at a local level.


    Current Briefings

    Why Adopt a Gendered Analysis of Violence and Abuse

    Commercial Sexual Exploitation

    Engaging Men in Tackling Violence Against Women

    Preventing and Eradicating Domestic Abuse


    Masterclass Materials

    Presentation: Engaging Men in Tackling Violence Against Women

  • Knowledge Hub

    The National Violence Against Women Network’s KHub Group is for professionals working to improve outcomes for women & girls affected by VAW in Scotland. It is an online forum where members can share information, learning and resources about tackling violence against women and girls and is designed to be a safe environment where members can receive support from their peers and discuss both best practice and any challenges they are experiencing.


    Visit the National Violence Against Women Network KHub Group


    The Cedar Network’s KHub page is for professionals working with local Cedar groups or with an interest in the Cedar projects. Members of the group can share resources relating to Cedar and wider children’s and domestic abuse issues, it is also a forum for open and safe discussion.


    Visit the National Cedar Network KHub Group

  • Current Projects

    Equally Safe Performance Framework

    The Improvement Service has worked in partnership with the Scottish Government, COSLA and the National VAW Network to develop a set of quality standards and performance indicators for local Violence Against Women Partnerships. They can be used to measure, demonstrate and improve the activities they are undertaking at a local level to address violence against women and girls and the impact this work is having.


    The Equally Safe Quality Standards and Performance Framework have now been published - read more about the resource and access it in full here. The VAW Team at the Improvement Service also hosted a webinar on 22 May 2018 to introduce the document and take questions about the resource, you can listen to the full webinar here.


    VAW Partnership Self-Assessment

    The Improvement Service has worked with the National VAW Network and other stakeholders to develop a VAW Partnership Checklist, based on research, evidence and good practice on effective, outcome-focussed partnership working.


    As part of our current funding from the Scottish Government, we are able to support VAW Partnerships to undertake self-assessments of their partnerships using this Checklist and to develop an improvement plan, based on the strengths and weaknesses identified by the members of the Partnership.


    If you would be interested in being involved in any of these projects, please contact joanna.mclaughlin@improvementservice.org.uk

  • Related Links


Joanna McLaughlin

National Violence Against Women Co-ordinator

Tel: 01506 283785

Email Joanna


Laura James

National Cedar Co-ordinator

Tel. 01506 281334

Email Laura


Ciorstaidh MacIver

Project Officer

Email Ciorstaidh