Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is a major Human Rights, Equality and Public Health issue. It is also often referred to as Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG). The Scottish Government definition of GBV is:

'Gender based violence is a function of gender inequality, and an abuse of male power and privilege. It takes the form of actions that result in physical, sexual, and psychological harm or suffering to women and children, or affront to their human dignity, including threats of such acts, coercion, or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life. It is men who predominantly carry out such violence, and women who are predominantly the victims of such violence.

By referring to violence as 'gender based' this definition highlights the need to understand violence within the context of women's and girl's subordinate status in society. Such violence cannot be understood, therefore, in isolation from the norms, social structure and gender roles within the community, which greatly influence women's vulnerability to violence.'

This violence includes, but is not limited to:

  • physical
  • sexual
  • psychological abuse, including:
    • domestic abuse
    • rape
    • sexual harassment
    • stalking
  • commercial sexual exploitation, including:
    • prostitution
    • pornography
    • trafficking
  • harmful cultural practices, including:
    • so called 'honour' based violence
    • forced marriage
    • female genital mutilation

Equally Safe is a joint Scottish Government and COSLA strategy to prevent and eradicate violence against women and girls in Scotland. The aim of this strategy is to work collaboratively with key partners in the public, private and third sectors to prevent and eradicate all forms of violence against women and girls.

More information can be found in the Equally Safe Short Life Delivery Plan (PDF, 1.5MB)

Falkirk Gender-Based Violence Partnership (FGBVP) is a multi-agency group works to ensure a joined-up approach in the area ensuring that victims are supported, and perpetrators tackled. The FGBVP believes that working together will result in better service provision, improved legal protection, and help prevent further abuse to women, children, and young people.

The FGBVP brings together a range of statutory and voluntary agencies in Falkirk with the aim of improving agency responses to women, children and young people who have experienced male violence. These aims support the implementation and outcomes of Equally Safe.

What if I am affected by Gender-Based Violence?

If you, or someone you know, is experiencing Gender-Based Violence, there is support and resources in the area. We (Falkirk Council) have a legal duty to give you advice and information about your housing options if you are experiencing abuse or are threatened with violence from someone you live with or used to live with. Abuse can be physical, sexual, psychological, emotional, or financial.

Organisations who can help

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Housing Needs Team

If you need to leave your home urgently, you should contact the Housing Needs Team (Monday - Friday between 9:00am and 5:00pm):

Outwith normal working hours (5:00pm until 8:45am weekdays, and during weekends and public holidays), please call us on:

Housing Needs Team (Out of Hours)

Scotland's Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline

If you feel scared of or around your partner or if you are worried about someone you know, you can get in touch with Scotland's 24-hour Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline.

Your call will be answered by fully trained call handlers who have lots of experience supporting people affected by domestic abuse and forced marriage. They will listen to you, support you to talk about your experience and try to find options that help you to keep you and your children safe. They can also help you to find further support if that is what you want.

Scotland's Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline

Committed to Ending Abuse (CEA)

If you are experiencing domestic abuse, you may want to contact CEA. They are a fully inclusive specialist Domestic Abuse Service and offer confidential advice, information and support with accommodation, legal advice, and access to benefits to women, men and their children who are, or who have been, suffering from the effects of domestic abuse.

Their confidential service includes keeping people safe, helping them to make decisions and supporting them.

For more information, please contact:

Committed to Ending Abuse
21 Wellside Place


If you are experiencing domestic abuse, you may want to contact Shakti. They offer help for black minority ethnic (BME) women, children and young people who are experiencing, or who have experienced, domestic abuse from a partner, ex-partner, and/ or other members of the household.

They fit their services around the woman's needs.

For more information, please contact:

Shakti Women's Aid (Forth Valley)
57 Albion Road

Central Advocacy Partners

Central Advocacy Partners has a Survivors' Advocacy Project that supports people with learning disabilities/difficulties and or autism, who are or have been affected by domestic abuse who live in Forth Valley.

They work with people to help them learn to recognise abuse, to understand their rights as well as being aware of the options and services available to them. They help people understand information they are given and empower them to make informed decisions.

Central Advocacy Partners
27 West Bridge Street

Equally Safe Falkirk

Equally Safe Falkirk is a Partnership between Barnardo's, Aberlour and us (Falkirk Council). The Partnership works together to help families to heal from Domestic Abuse and improve family functioning.

They give survivors and children a voice and help them stay safe, and work with those who cause harm to understand the impact of their behaviour.

For more information, please contact:

Forth Valley Rape Crisis

Forth Valley Rape Crisis provides free and confidential information, criminal justice advocacy, and therapeutic healing support to anyone 13 and over in the Forth Valley area affected by sexual violence. This includes survivors of sexual violence and their friends and families.

For more information, please contact:

Forth Valley Rape Crisis (Monday - Friday between 9:00am and 5:00pm)
Rape Crisis Scotland (Telephone 5pm - midnight, 7 days a week)
Rape Crisis Scotland (Text number)

Abused Men in Scotland (AMIS)

AMIS supports men across Scotland who are experiencing or have experienced domestic abuse. For help, advice, and information (for you or someone you know) you can call their confidential helpline or contact them by email.

Monday - Friday between 9:00am and 4:00pm

AMIS (Abused Men in Scotland)