Violence Against Women

The Violence Against Women (VAW) project offers support to women who have experienced or are currently experiencing violence and abuse. This abuse may be in the form of physical, emotional, financial, sexual abuse and/or sexual exploitation and includes human trafficking. We are aware that some women have experienced multiple forms of abuse in their lifetime.

About the service

The VAW project strives to empower women to move past challenging times, through the provision of: one-to-one support; 12-week Women’s Group programme; and befriending support.

While other agencies offer elements of the service provided by the VAW project, this continues to be the only resource in Aberdeen City to work with the full spectrum of gender-based abuse including domestic abuse, family abuse, rape and sexual assault, sexual exploitation, involvement in selling sexual activity, and human trafficking.

Who we help

The VAW project works with women aged 16 years and over, who have experienced or are currently experiencing any form of gender-based abuse, which includes:

  • Emotional abuse- including name-calling, threats, intimidation, control, humiliation, isolation from family, friends and support
  • Physical abuse- including hitting, punching, slapping, kicking, biting, spitting, using weapons
  • Financial abuse- including money being withheld, no access to bank account etc., having to account for spending, being forced to borrow money or make fraudulent claims
  • Sexual abuse- including rape, sexual assault, penetration with objects, being made to watch or imitate pornography
  • Sexual exploitation or being involved in selling sex or exchanging sexual activity
  • Human trafficking
  • Female genital mutilation
  • Forced marriage and honour-based abuse.

This abuse can affect any woman, regardless of age, race, sexual orientation, religion, background or lifestyle. Gender based abuse affects children and young people as well as adults.

The women we work with may also have issues relating to housing, finances, mental health, physical health, substance use, offending and family relationships, including childcare and child protection.

How we help

The VAW project is acutely aware that it is difficult for women to address the issues they are facing alone, requiring support to do so. It has been found that women benefit from our flexible, needs led approach, often in response to times of crisis as well as offering short, medium and long-term support depending on individual need.

One-to-one support

The VAW project offers one to one support to women, helping them to build the confidence to make positive changes in their lives. This includes:

  • Emotional support
  • Safety planning
  • Practical support
  • Advice and information
  • Crisis intervention
  • Advocacy
  • Assessment of needs
  • Referral to other relevant agencies

“One to one support has helped me to realise that I do have a future. Now that I have accessed this service, I have found myself again.”

Violence Against Women Service User
Women’s Group programme

A 12 week programme providing a safe, friendly space for women to meet with others as a way of increasing confidence, improving social skills and reducing social isolation.

Sessions offer the chance to take part in new activities and experiences, including:

  • Health and well-being
  • Information sessions from other agencies
  • Employability and further education
  • Hobbies and crafts
  • Visits and outings
Befriending support

Befriending volunteers offer a follow-on service to women who have accessed one to one support from the project. Volunteers meet with women regularly on a one to one basis helping to build confidence and reduce social isolation by:

  • Visiting women at home or going out and about
  • Taking part in interests and hobbies
  • Finding out what’s on in the local area
  • Attending classes and courses

How to access the service

Women can self-refer or a referral can be made on their behalf by any agency. All referrals are considered based on individual need rather than a waiting list system.

Please contact us using the details on this page.



The VAW project is supported by the National Lottery Community Fund.

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