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Domestic Abuse & Gender Based Violence

This website aims to:

  • Support anyone who is experiencing or at risk of violence / abuse by providing information and contact details for local and national services that can help.
  • Change attitudes towards Domestic Abuse and Gender Based Violence which will encourage changed behaviour.
  • Provide a comprehensive information resource for professionals working in the fields of Domestic Abuse and Gender Based Violence in Shetland.

Shetland Rape Crisis becomes The Compass Centre

Shetland Rape Crisis is preparing for a big change during its annual 16 Days of Activism Campaign, beginning on Thursday 25 November and running up until Tuesday 10 December.

To open the campaign and as part of their work towards becoming a more inclusive and accessible service, Shetland Rape Crisis will officially open The Compass Centre, it’s Lerwick-base for working with survivors of sexual violence, launching the new name, website, and related resources.

Lisa Ward, Service Manager at the Compass Centre explained: “We chose The Compass Centre as the name for our centre and the work we do with survivors because the compass is symbolic of journey and direction and the work we do helps survivors to navigate their own way forward after trauma.”

A private ribbon-cutting ceremony will be led by Maggie Sandison, Chief Executive of Shetland Islands Council.

Ward added: “This year for the 16 days we are exploring the theme of women in leadership and so we invited Maggie to join us both as a friend and ally of the service and as an inspiring local woman leader.”

During the opening ceremony the council leader will spend some time with SRC’s youth activism volunteers, BEE (Bold, Equal, Empowered), discussing their aspirations for a future free from sexual violence.

Another of the main events featured for this year’s 16 days campaign is a collaboration between Shetland Rape Crisis, Shetland Arts and Shetland Women’s Aid to present ‘Fragmented;' a one act play performed by Islesburgh Drama Group and written, directed and produced by Stephanie Pagulayan.

Exploring the impact and trauma of childhood sexual abuse in adult life, the play shows how an adult survivor, ‘Evelyn’, copes with her conflicting inner identity and outer persona as she comes to terms with what happened to her as a child. The live performance at the Garrison Theatre is followed by a Q&A with local support organisations.

As well as the annual light up of local buildings in orange, to shine a light on violence against women and as a beacon of hope for survivors, The Pride flag will be flying over Lerwick Town Hall on some days during the campaign and The Compass Centre will be launching a survey to gather the views and experiences of LGBTI+ people as part of their work towards achieving the LGBT Youth Chartermark.

Access and Inclusion Worker Emilie Smith said: “We believe it’s important that LGBTI+ survivors don’t feel silenced about what’s happened to them or what support they need, as well as seeing their identities, experiences and issues reflected in information about sexual violence.

Other activities taking place during the campaign include public displays celebrating women in leadership and exploring the theme of sex education, which can be seen at Market House and Clickimin Leisure Centre, and an online social media campaign including a takeover event by local youth activists.

Ward added: “This campaign is a massive team effort by our staff and volunteers, and demonstrates the their commitment and dedication to raising awareness to eradicate gender inequality and gender-based violence.”   

For more information 

Lisa Ward, Service Manager


01595 747 174 / 07470 998 910


New resource for Health & Social Care staff to support women at risk of gender based violence

Launched today (22/04/2020) is a new resource for Health & Social Care staff to support women at risk of gender based violence.  
The stay at home messaging which is a large part of our fight against COVID 19 will pose a challenge in particular for women at risk of gender based violence (GBV) including domestic abuse.  1 in 4 women may experience domestic abuse & this may increase during  COVID pandemic.  The opportunity for this crime to take place increases & opportunity for women to seek help or remove themselves from abuse situation may be limited.  Face to face consultations have reduced nevertheless staff across Health and Social care are well placed to identify and support women and girls at risk of GBV.  Staff in  Health & Social care may have less experience of identifying abuse during  phone consultations. This resource was developed by Dr Sue Brechin a Consultant in Sexual & Reproductive Health , NHS Fife and a Scottish Quality & Safety Fellow   in consultation with Scottish Women’s Aid, GBV leads and Public Health Scotland  to support staff support women during lockdown.  The resource aims to provide some guidance on making telephone consultations safe and provide opportunity to make sure women are safe at home.  The videos produced by Open Change.’ 
Full length: https://vimeo.com/408344058/4454d27aaf

Covid 19

Nationally there are concerns that domestic abuse and sexual violence may be increasing as a result of the measures being put in place to prevent the spread of covid-19. Please see attached a newsletter with some additional information.   Shetland Domestic Abuse partnership would like to let everyone know that help and support is still available to anyone who needs it using the resources on this page and elsewhere on this website.

Shetland Rape Crisis 

You may be staying at home, but you are not alone.
We are still here for you.

We are currently unable to provide face-to-face support but we are still here for on VC, phone, message, text & email.

You can call us 9am – 1:30 pm, Monday to Thursday.
Office: 01595 747174
Email: contact@shetlandrapecrisis.scot 
Website: www.shetlandrapecrisis.scot

For self-help resources see:
For phone support call Rape Crisis Scotland’s free and confidential helpline 6pm - midnight every night:
08088 01 03 02

Shetland Rape Crisis Annual Report 2019-2020 - now available to view online 

Shetland Women's Aid 

Due to Covid-19 our office base is closed, but staff are continuing to provide support and advice

Please see contact details below:

Email:                                       office@shetlandwa.org

Website:                                      www.shetlandwa.org

Telephone:                                            (01595) 692070

Mobiles:                     07867 300 565 or 07810 796 556

Phone calls/texts will be answered as soon as possible – generally staff will be available 9-12 every weekday.

Safe2Speak.co.uk: 01744 743 200

Scottish Domestic Abuse & Forced Marriage Helpline 24 hour: 0800 027 1234

In an emergency please do not hesitate to call the Police on 999.

For Everyone:

Domestic Abuse

This section explains what domestic abuse is and where you can get help.

Gender Based Violence

This section explains what Gender Based Violence is and how we can all work to eradicate it.

I Need Help

This section details the support available for anyone, male or female, affected by Domestic Abuse or GBV, with links to agencies focussed on LGBT issues and help for children and young people.

Bold, Equal & Empowered 

Volunteers with BEE (Bold, Equal & Empowered), Shetland Rape Crisis’ young activists’ group, are inviting folk to join them in a socially-distanced walk and social media takeover under the hashtag #WisToo on Saturday 5th December at Clickimin Loch between 10am-1pm, as part of the global 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. 

For Professionals:

Introduction for Professionals

This section provides general information aimed at people working in the field of Domestic Abuse and Gender Based Violence, but may be of wider interest.

Briefing Note - Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence

A briefing note for all staff about the current concerns that domestic abuse and sexual violence may increase in the current lockdown. Whilst the measures in place are safeguarding people from the virus the risks for people living in abusive situations may increase. The aim of this briefing is not to cause any anxieties for staff continuing to provide services to children, families and adults but just to ask people to be aware of this issue, know where to seek some help if you are concerned and also to be able to pass on useful sources of advice and support. As always if you assess that a child or adult is or may be at risk of harm please speak to your line manager or  make a child or adult protection referral without delay.  Duty Social work for children, young people up to 18 and families 01595 744420.  Duty social work for adults 01595 744468.  Briefing Note


This section gives information on the MARAC procedure and associated documents.

Resources and Links

This section highlights useful resources and links for professionals.

Training and Events

This section gives details of upcoming professional training and events.


Over 100 cases of domestic abuse take place in Shetland every year, with 115 recorded in 2017-18. There are around 60,000 cases recorded in Scotland annually - that is one every ten minutes. Domestic Abuse affects people across our community regardless of sex, race, age, religion, sexuality, income or lifestyle.



Domestic abuse is unacceptable and you have a right to be safe. You do have options and there are people who can help you.

These are the phone numbers and weblinks:

In an emergency dial 999
Tel: 101 - Non Emergency calls

Tel: 01595 692070
Help for women and children experiencing domestic abuse. May be able to offer safe and secure accommodation for you and your children



Tel: 01595 747174 / 07570 062362
Free and confidential information,advocacy and support for anyone in Shetland aged 13 and over affected by any form of sexual violence.



National Support Centre Tel: 0800 2160 1985
Free and confidential emotional and practical assistance for victims of crime and information about the criminal justice system.

Tel: 0800 027 1234
Free confidential support for people who have experienced domestic abuse.

Tel: 0808 801 0327 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
Confidential helpline for men experiencing domestic violence or abuse.