Highlands & Islands MSPs join McArthur in support of ORSAS

1 Dec 2022

Orkney's MSP, Liam McArthur, has joined fellow Highlands & Islands MSPs in voicing support for the Orkney Rape and Sexual Assault Service (ORSAS) as part of the 16 days of activism to end violence against women and girls.

The 16 days of activism against gender-based violence is an annual campaign that begins on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and runs through until International Human Rights Day on 10 December.

ORSAS provide free and confidential information, advocacy and support to anyone in Orkney aged 13 or over affected by any form of sexual violence or domestic abuse. To raise awareness of those affected in Orkney and the support provided by ORSAS, White Ribbon Scotland and Women's Aid, ORSAS launched their 'Peedie Birds' campaign in 2020.

Orkney's MSP was joined by fellow cross-party Highlands & Islands MSPs in the Scottish Parliament today in a show of support for the Peedie Birds.

Commenting, Mr McArthur said:

"It is a bleak and unacceptable reality that violence, abuse and harassment are a daily occurrence for too many women and girls. These experiences can have serious and far-reaching impacts on mental and physical health, as well as employment and educational outcomes.

"Eradicating this violence can only be achieved when all men recognise their responsibility to play an active role in tackling the culture of sexism and misogyny deep-rooted in our society.

"We owe it to the women and girls who have shown bravery, courage and strength in calling out horrific experiences over the years and those who continue to live with trauma. Individually and collectively we can pledge not to commit, condone or remain silent so that violence, abuse and harassment can be stamped out for good.

"During this year’s 16 Days of Activism, I'm proud to join my fellow Highland & Islands MSPs in showing cross party support for ORSAS, as well as Women's Aid Orkney, White Ribbon Scotland and Rape Crisis Scotland. All do invaluable work supporting women and girls in our islands, while also raising awareness about the need to improve attitudes and behaviours amongst men and boys."

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