SAFETY devices for women who have left abusive relationships are being distributed in the Wee County.

The Resilience Learning Partnership (RLP), which previously made headlines with its craft box initiative during lockdown, has teamed up with police and fire service colleagues to help protect women in Clacks.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service already fits letterbox defender safety devices to ensure that flammable items cannot be put through the front door with RLP taking the initiative further in a bid to support women who left abusive relationships.

Melanie Mitchell, Violence Against Women Partnership (VAWP) co-ordinator for Clackmannanshire and an employee at RLP, said: "RLP are delighted to continue their work with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service with this project.

"The number of women needing these devices has risen sharply following the easing of lockdown which means that more women have been able to leave abusive situations, but they need assistance to be able to keep themselves and their families safe.

"These safety devices are essential for this and we are happy to have been able to source and fund these devices for the fire service to fit and will also provide our self-care and craft packages to those receiving the safety device."

Staff at the fire service have been undertaking domestic abuse awareness training in recent years as well to spot the signs when working with the public.

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Alan Faulds, area liaison officer at Alloa Fire Station and vice chair of anti-violence charity White Ribbon Scotland, said: "Keeping our community safe and the residents within it is our number one priority, but there are those who need that little bit extra help and with the assistance of RLP, the fire and rescue service and local fire station personnel are able to drive forward real change.

"Being able to help distribute the craft boxes or provide possible life saving information or just fitting home security devices to make people feel safe and secure, with us working together with RLP we can make real differences across Clackmannanshire.

"This new partnership shows a real collective interest across services to make people's lives better."

The move comes following revelations that the Wee County has seen the second highest rate of domestic offending during the coronavirus lockdown.

More recent figures showed an improving position relative to other areas, despite an overall rise in incidence.

Sergeant Cathy Sharkey, community policing sergeant for Clackmannanshire and chair of VAWP, said that tackling domestic abuse remains a priority for officers.

She added: "As a result of the collaborative partnership working being carried out locally, and the marketing to target this, more domestic abuse disclosures have been made which goes some way to explain the increased statistics.

"However, this tells me that victims have confidence in local services to report domestic abuse which is encouraging."

A range of organisations are available to support women experiencing domestic abuse in the Wee County.

Police Scotland: 999 in an emergency, 101 for non-emergencies, 1800 1101 for the text relay and 01324 574 905 for the Domestic Abuse Investigation Unit

Clackmannanshire Women's Aid: 01259 721 407

National Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline: 0800 027 1234

Visit for the Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse.

Forth Valley Rape Crisis Centre: 01786 439 244

Victim Support Central: 01786 445 782

Scottish Women's Rights Centre: 08088 010 789

Revenge Porn Helpline: 0845 6000 459

Shakti Women's Aid for BME women: 07757 035 794

Trafficking Awareness Raising Alliance for those being exploited: 0141 276 7724

Wellbeing Scotland, incorporating Open Secret: 01324 630 100

Fearless, for men, LGBT+ and the BME community: 0131 624 7266

Clackmannanshire Council Housing Options Team: 01259 225 115

LGBT Youth Scotland:

Men can also make a pledge to end violence against women by visiting

Men suffering abuse can call Abused Men in Scotland on 0808 800 0024

Men's Advice Line: 0808 801 0327