In advance of the Scottish Parliament’s debate on Thursday 8th December on violence against women, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth John Swinney launched PACT, a new initiative by the Zero Tolerance Trust encouraging employers to sign up to help cut the cost of violence.
With one in five women experiencing violence at some point in their lives, it is estimated that costs to businesses total around £2.7 billion each year through decreased productivity, poor performance, irregular attendance and staff turnover.
The new PACT scheme supports employers to introduce Policies, take Action, initiate Communication and deliver Training to combat violence against women all of which work to improve business performance.
Mr Swinney said "I am extremely pleased to officially launch the Zero Tolerance Trust's Policy, Action, Communication and Training Scheme, which gives employers the tools they need to take action in the workplace to tackle violence against women.
"Violence against women is completely unacceptable in 21st Century Scotland. It affects everyone, not just the women and children who experience it.
"The Scottish Government have committed £55m to tackling violence against women since 2008, more than double the investment made previously, and we continue to work closely with key partners such as the police, councils, NHS Boards and voluntary sector organisations, like Zero Tolerance, to ensure that perpetrators are held to account, and that victims have the services they require."
Chief Inspector Graham Goulden of the Violence Reduction Unit, in his speech supporting the launch of PACT, added “This is a great opportunity for organisations to let their employees know they are taking action on violence against women. Tackling this problem is not solely the role of the police, nor is it solely the role of the various support organisations. It is everyone’s responsibility.
“Violence against women like all forms of violence is an identified risk for all organisations. PACT will allow organisations to manage that risk and work towards creating a climate which supports victims and challenges the many attitudes which we know contribute to this form of violence.”
Business leaders and politicians attended the breakfast launch today at Edinburgh’s Dynamic Earth.