THE Scottish Parliament will today fall silent in memory of all those women killed by men in 2021.

The minute’s silence marks the start of the UN’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.

The international drive aims to raise awareness of male violence towards women and to galvanise action to end sexist abuse across countries.

The minute’s silence will take place at 11.30am, just before Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison leads a ­debate on eliminating such harm here in Scotland.

Between 2009 and 2019 a total of 112 women were killed in Scotland by their partner or former partner – one for every month during that period.

A new marketing campaign launching today will encourage survivors of domestic abuse to seek support. It also aims to raise awareness of the landmark Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018, which enabled the courts to consider psychological abuse and coercive or controlling behaviour alongside physical assaults and threats.

The National: Shona Robison - free.

Robison (above), who took on her role ­after May’s election, said Scotland must play its part to tackle a global ­problem. Referencing horrific crimes that occurred in England, she stated: “Today the Scottish Parliament is coming together to clearly and unequivocally condemn violence against women in Scotland and around the world, and to mourn the deaths of women globally.

“This year we particularly have in mind the tragic cases of Sabina Nessa, Sarah Everard, Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry, which have shone a spotlight on the violence that many women face. But the awful truth is there are many more murders that do not get the same level of ­attention – the latest UN figures show that around 87,000 women around the world were killed by men in 2017 alone.

“Violence against women and girls is underpinned by inequality and the attitudes and structural barriers that perpetuate it. That is why the Scottish Government has focused on ­ensuring that women and children get the help they need, with tackling all forms of gender-based violence as a core ­priority.

“Within the first 100 days of this government we provided £5 million to rape crisis centres and ­domestic abuse services to help them cut ­waiting times, on top of £5.75m we allocated in 2020-21 to help ­redesign frontline services. Furthermore, our Delivering Equally Safe Fund is ­providing £38m over the next two years to ­organisations helping to ­prevent abuse and to aid recovery where it does happen.”

Today also marks the first part of a 16-day challenge by charity worker Rebekah Cheung, who’ll run a half marathon every day to raise funds for anti-male violence organisation White Ribbon Scotland. Every leg of her challenge will be dedicated to a different woman killed by a man.

Speaking to the Sunday National earlier this month, she said the true scale of such brutality in the UK is not fully recognised: “I asked friends how many women they thought had been killed in the UK since Sarah Everard and a lot of them said 20 or 30. It’s at 80-plus, but not a lot of ­people seem to know that.”

To donate to Cheung, visit

For help with these issues, visit the Safer Scotland website,, or call the Domestic Abuse helpline on 0800 027 1234.