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End gender-based violence

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Our stance

“The Scottish Youth Parliament recognises many girls and women feel unsafe in public spaces and calls on decision makers and communities to raise awareness and work together to eliminate gender-based violence in public areas.”

93% of young people consulted agreed with this statement.

The current situation in Scotland

Gender-based violence is prevalent across the world, including in Scotland. Looking at sexual crime, at least 37% of the 15,049 Sexual crimes recorded in 2021-22 by the police were related to a victim under the age of 18. For those with experience of serious sexual assault, the first (or only) incident occurred between the ages of 16 and 20 for more than half (55%). Generally, there is an underreporting of these crimes and in 2020-21 there were 2,176 cases reported to the police, but only 152 prosecutions and just 78 convictions. All of these statistics paint a picture of how widespread violence is, including for young people, and how the legal system is failing victims.

The Equally Safe strategy in Scotland aims to end the violence facing women and girls in Scotland and achieve greater gender equality. In addition, new legislation called the Victims, Witnesses, and Justice Reform Bill is in process to improve legal systems handling cases of sexual offences.

What do MSYPs want to see?

  • Early intervention through better education in schools.
  • Safer public spaces and transport.
  • Supportive and safe workplaces.
  • An intersectional approach.
  • Increased support for victims of violence and abuse.

What action has SYP taken so far?

MSYPs participated in a research project for The Scottish Government on gender inequality in education. This report covered issues such as gender stereotyping, girls’ safety in school and how teachers act and behave differently with female students.

Alongside this, SYP continues to work to end violence against women and girls and call for the criminalisation of misogynistic behaviour and sexual harassment.

SYP’s Women’s Empowerment Programme also works to identify issues and opportunities relating to young women’s empowerment within SYP.

Our next steps

Campaign Delivery Groups will now be formed where Members will go on to design and deliver each of the three campaigns.


Our campaign will be focused on gender-based violence. Violence against women and girls is one part of gender-based violence and and a conversation that continues deserve specific attention and to be tackled.

Want to learn more about gender-based violence? Check out these resources from some of the organisations working to both tackle violence against women and girls and to bring about equality in Scotland:

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