International Women’s Day is taking place on Wednesday.

International Women’s Day (IWD) encourages women to unite and empower each other, while campaigning for a safe, equitable and inclusive society.

The Violence Against Women Partnership and councillors across North Ayrshire are using IWD to raise awareness of gender-based violence.

Raising awareness alongside the North Ayrshire Violence Against Women Partnership, Provost Anthea Dickson shared: “International Women’s Day is on the 8th of March, when we can celebrate the achievements women have made, including social, economic, and cultural.

“The awareness day, however, also provides an important and visible platform to stand up for women’s rights and create a safer world for all women.

“Often during International Women’s week, we see many other organisations taking to social media to champion equality – and rightly so, as we too believe that everyone should have the same chance to succeed.

“However, by focusing more on equity and the specific issues affecting women in North Ayrshire, we can ensure we even the playing field so that all women in our communities can feel safe and empowered to break down barriers so that they can thrive and live a better life in North Ayrshire.”

“This is why we will be using the day to team up with the Violence Against Women Partnership – who bring together vital organisations that have a strategic role in tackling gender-based violence across North Ayrshire – to support those who are affected by domestic violence and coercive control.”

Women’s Aid defines coercive control as, “ act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.”

These behaviours can be subtle and can often go undetected. Over time, victims are isolated from their friends and families, making them dependent on the perpetrator with no support network available, making them less likely to come forward for support.

The Violence Against Women Partnership (VAWP) and the Council will use their social media channels to highlight what coercive control is - via a series of informative scenario-based animations - and give information on how people can seek help.
If you are at risk of violence, you can contact the Council at any time on 0800 0196 500, alternatively, you can contact North Ayrshire Women’s Aid during office hours on 01294 602 424.