Scottish celebrities campaign against gender violence
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Scottish stars add voices to international campaign
Twenty well-known men in Scottish life have added their voices to the international campaign, 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, due to start tomorrow - the day designated by the United Nations as International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Men from the worlds of politics, business, sport, media and the arts have come together to speak out against the violence women experience every day in Scotland.
Celebrities including actors Brian Cox, Alan Cumming and David Hayman, author Christopher Brookmyre, entrepreneurs Duncan Bannatyne and Charan Gill, Scotland football manager Walter Smith, chef Nick Nairn and photographer Rankin have joined Scotland's Communities Minister Malcolm Chisholm in raising awareness.
The Executive also supports the 16 Days campaign and the White Ribbon Campaign as part of its work to tackle violence against women which includes the 'Domestic Abuse, there's no excuse' campaign.
Communities Minister Malcolm Chisholm said: "The 16 Days international awareness campaign reminds us all of the continuing prevalence of men's violence against women all over the world. We often hear women standing up and speaking out against the violence women face and it's crucial for men to add their voices too.
"It is an appalling reality that violence against women takes place in Scotland, in so many forms, including domestic abuse, rape and sexual assault. It is my duty and my privilege to take this opportunity to add my voice, to put on record that violence is never acceptable.
"We all have the right to live free from harm and fear and the time has come for us all to stand up and challenge those men who abuse to take responsibility for their actions and stop their violent behaviour."
Entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne said: "Domestic violence usually starts with a few angry words and a few hurt feelings, over time it escalates to rage and revenge and before you know it the violence has begun. We all need to stand together to make people aware that these terrible things are happening to our friends and families and by standing together, we can take responsibility for our own actions and help those closest to us to keep them safe from such terrible things."
Crime writer Christopher Brookmyre said: "It's not because she made you angry, it's because she won't hit back. If she had ninety-nine biker friends, would you find it easier to control your rage?"
Scotland's Chief Medical Officer Dr Harry Burns said:"I am very happy to give my full support to this campaign. A civilised society protects those who are vulnerable and depressed. Scotland has, for centuries, contributed to civilisation through its endeavours in art, literature, philosophy and science.
"However, we cannot claim to be a truly civilised society while we tolerate violence in our communities against women and children.
"Men who perpetrate this violence need to know that their behaviour is unacceptable. Men who see it happening to friends or relatives but turn a blind eye to it are just as guilty as the perpetrator and need to take a stand in support of those damaged by it.
"A feature of a truly civilised Scotland will be one in which all men can be united in their abhorrence of exploitation and violence against women and children. I will certainly do all I can to support that process."
Hollywood actor Brian Cox said:"To live in the 21st Century and still be waging a war to eradicate violence against women is shameful. This is a fundamental human right, one that is denied to countless women and children across Scotland--and across the globe--every minute. It is imperative that we ensure that women have the support and the resources to escape their abuser. I applaud the White Ribbon campaign and am proud to be a part of it. I urge the men of Scotland to rally behind our sisters and offer support."
High Court judge Lord Carloway, involved in establishing Scotland Domestic Abuse Court pilot, said:"The sheriff court in Glasgow has shown the way forward in dealing with the problem of domestic abuse. For justice to be achieved for all parties, it is important that allegations in this field are processed with particular speed and efficiency. I hope that the Glasgow experience can be expanded into other parts of Scotland where a specialised court is a practicable option."
Stage and screen actor Alan Cumming said: "The fists come up when the brain shuts down. Be a real man. Get smart. Spread the message and stop violence against women."
BBC Scotland's River City's actor Gilly Gilchrist, currently involved in a psychological abuse storyline, said: "I think abuse in any way, shape or form is totally unacceptable in our society. I find it hard to believe that there are men out there so similar to 'Archie' (my character in River City) in this day and age, I mean the guy is an absolute misogynistic monster who belongs in some Victorian institution. Fun to play, yes, but that's all it is, pretend.
"The sad fact is that for some people it really does happen, perhaps by raising peoples awareness and making them realise that it is wrong, we can help in some way, no matter how small, to bring about an end to it. Zero Tolerance."
Entrepreneur Charan Gill MBE said:"Domestic violence against women is a crime that seems to have been tolerated by generations as the norm. It is a subject which is still taboo, it only comes to the fore and is discussed when the violence reaches the extreme and quite often, the person on the receiving end is made to feel that it is somehow her fault that she is being abused and assaulted.
"Any initiative which highlights the plight and the seriousness of this appalling crime should be supported and I would like to join the many others who have expressed support to this campaign."
Scotland and Heart of Midlothian goalkeeper Craig Gordon said:"I condemn any form of domestic abuse against women. Nobody should ever have to live in fear."
Television presenter Stephen Jardine said: "We like to think of ourselves as a civilised and sophisticated society yet recorded incidents of domestic abuse are running at record levels in Scotland with the forthcoming Festive period the worst time of the year for women in fear.
"Violence in any setting can never be justified but it is especially cowardly and abhorrent in the home. The men responsible for it are inadequate bullies who bring shame to all the rest of us. Women should not be afraid to come forward and report domestic abuse, safe in the knowledge that men and women across Scotland share the same conviction that it is unacceptable and shameful and must be eradicated for the good of the country as a whole."
Association of Chief Police Officers (Scotland) Family Protection representative, Deputy Chief Constable Tom Halpin, said:
"Domestic Abuse, whether physical, emotional or financial is unacceptable, and damages not only the current generation in Scotland, but the next. We know that abuse within a relationship really does impact on the subsequent development and wellbeing of children. Violence is an issue which the Scottish Police Service is committed to tackling and that extends to that most damaging violence which often takes place behind closed doors."
Television's Trial and Retribution star David Hayman who also runs a humanitarian charity Spirit Aid, said: "Any act of violence against women is an act of cowardice that brings shame on us all. The time for violence is over, the time for silence is over."
Taggart's DC Stuart Fraser, actor Colin McCredie, said: "Violence against women is wrong, and it's up to men to stop it. Us men must support women who have suffered and are suffering at the hands of other men. Domestic abuse, sexual assault and rape are all crimes, so don't be afraid to go to the police. We've covered up for too long!"
Celebrity chef Nick Nairn said: "Domestic abuse is a cancer that eats away at people's lives. Men who abuse women are just vile cowards who torment their victims out of sight, and because it goes on behind closed doors, those who have been abused need to be given a mouthpiece to speak out and bring the issue into the light. It's such an important issue to highlight, and it needs to be taboo, totally unacceptable, or you're letting the bullies win."
Celebrity photographer and publisher of UK style magazine Dazed and Confused, Rankin, said: "There is absolutely NO excuse for aggressive mental or physical abuse against women or anyone for that matter. I support this campaign wholeheartedly!"
The Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, the Rt Hon George Reid MSP, said: "I introduced the Domestic Violence (Scotland) Bill into the Commons in 1978 to give women legally enforceable space from abusive partners. We have made progress since then, largely through the efforts of women themselves. But men could still do more. Any violence, physical or mental, towards another human being is unacceptable. I shall be wearing the white ribbon on 25 November".
Internationally-renowned hairdresser Trevor Sorbie MBE, said:"Every woman has the right to feel safe within her home environment. Anything we can do to eliminate violence from the home is essential. I am in a unique position to spread this message both to my clients and within the media and will do all that I can to help."
Manager of the Scotland football team Walter Smith said: "Football has a fantastic following from men all over Scotland but that loyalty and support that we show to our favourite teams should also be extended to the people in our lives who we care about. There are women all over Scotland who experience violence and abuse in many forms which in my view, is utterly unacceptable. No one should be living with violence in our society and there is a wealth of agencies out there that can provide the right advice and support that is needed."
STV's new Scotsport presenter Grant Stott said: "There is no place for domestic abuse in a civilised society and no one should be living in fear of violence or controlling behaviour, particularly when in a relationship. Anything that raises awareness of the unacceptability of all forms of abuse towards women is a good thing, and I hope the campaign sends out the clear message that abuse is not and will not be tolerated."
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence originated from the first Women's Global Leader Institute in 1991 and has been used as an organising strategy by individuals and groups around the world to call for the elimination of all forms of violence and abuse against women by:
raising awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at the local, national, regional and international levelsStrengthening local work around violence against women Establishing a clear link between local and international work to end violence against women Providing a forum in which organisers can develop and share new and effective strategies Demonstrating the solidarity of women around the world organising against violence against women
The campaign runs from International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (November 25) to International Human Rights Day (December 10).
The international campaign of action is supported by the Scottish Executive.
The 25th November is also celebrated globally as White Ribbon Day - by The White Ribbon Campaign - which aims to ensure men take more responsibility for reducing the level of violence against women .
Wearing a white ribbon is a personal pledge never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women. Each year, men and boys are urged to wear a ribbon for one or two weeks, starting on November 25, the International Day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women.