Dunfermline MSP Shirley-Anne Somerville believes the Scottish Government’s new £500,000 Fund to Leave will provide crucial support which will help women across West Fife trying to leave abusive relationships.

The pilot fund makes up to £1,000 available to women fleeing domestic violence and will be delivered locally by Fife Women's Aid.

She said: “The Scottish Government is committed to ending violence against women and girls, and I know this fund could be an invaluable resource for victims of domestic abuse.

"Tragically, there were 215 homelessness applications made by women to Fife Council due to domestic abuse.

“This support will be life-changing; allowing vulnerable women to leave abusive partners, supporting them to regain their independence and, crucially, mitigating the risk of homelessness."

Last year, one in four homelessness presentations by women and their children in Scotland were due to a violent or abusive dispute in their household.

She continued: “As we mark 16 days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence, it is vital to raise awareness of the help that is available.

"We have come such a long way but I'm afraid we still have such a long way to go.

“I am committed to playing my part in helping to build a Scotland where women and girls have a safe and secure place to call home, and I would strongly encourage anyone who thinks they could be eligible to apply.”

More information on Fund to Leave can be found here.

Grants will be delivered by Fife Women’s Aid. Applications can be made by contacting the group directly.