Bosses at East Ayrshire Council hope to gain an accreditation in tackling violence against women.

The council is working towards achieving White Ribbon status.

It is offered by charity White Ribbon, which encourages men and boys to get involved in work to help end attacks against women.

Winning the status involves improving the council’s organisational culture, safety and morale.

It would also help increase staff’s knowledge to address violence against women. 

The move was revealed during the council’s audit and scrutiny committee on April 22. 

Councillors were presented with a progress report on the East Ayrshire Violence Against Women Partnership. 

Ballochmyle councillor Claire Leitch said: “It is fantastic that we are going for White Ribbon status.”

Speaking at the meeting, she said it is also important to raise awareness of psychological abuse including gaslighting and behaviour that leaves women traumatised. 

Dele Meller, senior manager protection and learning, said lockdown had created an increased risk for vulnerable women and children trapped in homes. 

She added: “Women stopped coming forward for a period of time during the pandemic. It became harder for women to report abuse. We have been trying to mitigate that.”

She said reports of assault are back to the expected level now. 

The East Ayrshire Violence Against Women Partnership is made up of a wide range of staff from different organisations, including the police, council, health board Women’s Aid, Break the Silence, ASSIST and others.

The agencies adapted practices to ensure support continued during the pandemic.