The History of the Debate

© Robin Gillanders and Chris Hall


It’s been 20 years since violence against women in Scotland was first debated at the Scottish Parliament.

The first debate was on Domestic Violence and was on the 27th October 1999.

The MSPs who spoke at this debate were:

Lord David Steel

Jackie Baillie Labour

Roseanna Cunningham SNP

Lyndsay McIntosh Con

Patricia Ferguson Lab

Nora Radcliffe Lib Dem

Janis Hughes Labour

Michael Matheson SNP

Margaret Curran Lab

George Reid SNP

Maureen Macmillan Lab

Bill Aitken Con

Mike Rumbles Lib Dem

Johann Lamont Lab

Kay Ullrich SNP

Bristow Muldoon Lab

Christine Graham SNP

Phil Gallie Con

Dorothy Grace Elder Independent

Fiona Hyslop SNP

Wendy Alexander Lab


This year

Violence against women and girls is an intolerable injustice in Scotland, preventing our society from being as safe, healthy and successful as it could be and costs Scotland £4 billion a year.

We know we can prevent this violence.

At this debate MSPs will engage with the crucial work that we know can prevent this violence.

Together, this year, we can ensure that we have a full house - so we can start a national conversation about prevention.

It is very easy to get involved and it only takes 5 minutes:

  • Invite your MSPs to the debate on violence against women and girls by sending them an email using our new easy to use tool
  • Invite your friends, share on social media, and spread the word to get as many people as possible contacting their MSPs and attending or watching the debate.

If you have more time you can also, watch your MSPs speak and come to the debate at the Scottish Parliament:

  • You can attend the debate at the Scottish Parliament in person
  • or if you can’t attend in person or watch from wherever you have Wi-Fi or organise a watch party.

The date of the debate is usually announced two weeks in advance, but it will be during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence between 26th November and 10th December.

More information about visiting the Scottish Parliament here.

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