Specialist Violence Against Women Agencies

Dundee Women's Aid - Offer a confidential and non-judgemental service to women, young people and children who have experienced domestic abuse. The abuse may be from a partner or ex-partner. DWA strive to provide an inclusive service and support women from all backgrounds regardless of substance misuse issues, mental/physical health, race/ethnicity, religion, age, disability, gender identity or sexual orientation.

WRASAC - provide support to women, including trans women, and young people of all genders (aged 11-18), who have experienced any form of sexual violence, abuse or exploitation in their lives. WRASAC listen to, believe and support survivors of any race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, religious and cultural background.

Vice Versa - promotes the health, rights and dignity of women, including trans women, who are involved in exchanging sexual acts for some form of payment. This payment may be financial but may also take the form of drinks, drugs, food or shelter. WRASAC call this sexual exploitation or prostitution, but you might have a different name for it.

DAYS - This service is offered to you if you are a young survivor, of any gender and you are aged from 11 to 18 living in Dundee. We offer confidential, professional support if you have experienced any type of sexual violence. Sexual violence or abuse includes any sexual act which you did not want or has left you with difficult feelings. It can include rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse, child sexual exploitation, sexual bullying, grooming, and sexting, amongst other things.

CLICK - This is a woman-led safety and wellbeing service for any woman selling or exchanging sexual activity online.

Advocacy - WRASAC offer advocacy support as reporting to police can be an overwhelming prospect. They support you through the process and can attend court with you if your case goes to court. You can report sexual violence that has happened to you at any time in the past. If you are considering speaking to the police you can have support from a support worker from WRASAC.

Tayside Domestic Abuse Service

Multi agency Independent Advocacy - The MIA Service provides a crisis intervention and advocacy service if you are experiencing domestic abuse and will help you and your family to minimise future risks of harm. They will ensure that when you exit this service, you can continue to be supported by relevant agencies.

The MIA worker will:

Complete a risk assessment with you Provide a safety plan Signpost you to relevant services Liaise with agencies on your behalf Attend MARAC on your behalf to ensure your voice is at the centre of the meeting

Caledonian Programme Women’s Service:

The Caledonian System is an integrated approach to addressing domestic abuse. It combines a court-ordered programme for men, aimed at changing their behaviour, with support services for women and children. If a man is taking part in Caledonian his partner or ex partner will be offered the women’s service – this provides safety planning, information, advice and emotional support. It is provided by dedicated Women's Workers, who aim both to reduce the risk to women and their children, and to improve women's social and emotional wellbeing. In contrast with the Men's Programme, the Women's Service is voluntary - women are not obliged to accept the support they are offered.

Amina - The Helpline is a listening ear and signposting service for Muslim women across Scotland. We run the Helpline Monday to Friday – 10am – 4pm for any Muslim-identified women, and on Wednesdays from 6pm – 9pm for young Muslims women (ages 16-25). It is free from mobiles and landlines and will not appear on your phone bill. All calls are strictly confidential and non-judgemental; we always deal with clients in a faith and culturally-sensitive manner.

Shakti Women’s Aid - helps BME women, children, and young people experiencing, or who have experienced, domestic abuse from a partner, ex-partner, and/ or other members of the household. We are based in Edinburgh. We also have outreach staff in Dundee, Stirling and Fife.


ASPEN is a project hosted within Dundee Women’s Aid which aims to Assess and Support Psychological and Emotional Needs of women with complex needs who struggle to engage with services.  ASPEN is a trauma-informed service. Staffed by 0.8wte Consultant Clinical Psychologist and supported by Dundee Violence Against Women Partner Agencies, ASPEN provides:

Specialist psychological assessment, formulation, and treatment planning in a trauma-informed way Provision of Survive and Thrive Consultation to partner agencies to facilitate more effective support of clients Consultation and support of research to audit service performance and support ongoing development on women’s-only services

Other services for women only

Community Justice Service Women’s Team : Dundee CJS operates a specialist Women’s Team. This team includes a mental health nurse and works closely with key voluntary partners such as TCA mentoring, Women’s Aid and WRASAC. The team carry out assessments, interventions, Court Reports, Support, Referrals to other agencies, 1:1 Work and through care from Prison        

PAUSE (Hosted by TCA): works with women who have experienced, or are at risk of, repeated pregnancies that result in children needing to be removed from their care. Through an intense programme of support, it aims to break this cycle and give women the opportunity to reflect, tackle  patterns of behaviour, and to develop new skills and responses that can help them create a more positive future. In doing so, we aim to prevent the damaging consequences of thousands more children being taken into care.

Contact – 01382 45601201382 45601201382 456012 01382 456012

Dundee International Women's Centre:

DIWC seeks to engage, educate and empower women from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds, to help them achieve their personal goals. We provide educational, recreational and social activities, as well as employment training, information and advice services for all women. DIWC works in partnership with many organisations to promote the personal development of women, by encouraging active participation, leadership and citizenship in society.

DIWC provides opportunities for marginalised and socially excluded women, with an emphasis on those from BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) and migrant communities, to reach their full potential and prosper in their communities.

DIWC is unique in Dundee as the only multicultural, 'women-only' organisation, which welcomes all cultures.

As a result of its many years of experience, DIWC has built a positive reputation within the communities it supports, being an organisation which is sensitive and respectful towards diverse cultural needs.

In order to meet our aims, DIWC provides a range of services such as: classes, social groups, informal and formal training, employment training, volunteering, events and issue based awareness-raising.

In addition, our social enterprise business, Rise and Shine Childcare, provides reduced rate childcare in house and is supported by our Social Enterprise mobile creche which provides employment for childcare workers.

DIWC is a grassroots organisation and sees it future as continuing to provide and develop services led by community needs and underpinned by our values.

Contact: (0)1382 462058

Action for Children Women and Family Safety Service:

Action for Children Women & Family Safety Service aims to support and offer advice to partners / ex-partners of male perpetrators of domestic abuse on a voluntary basis. Perpetrators have been found guilty of domestic incidents and CJSW are to make recommendations for sentencing. Perpetrators are also under assessment for / or participating in, the domestic abuse perpetrator group work programme which is facilitated by Criminal Justice Social Work services.

Best practice dictates that a multi-agency, holistic, approach to addressing safety issues for women and families would be at the forefront of any work undertaken by our service. The information gathered from the victims of domestic abuse, coupled with the CAADA-DASH Risk Indicator Checklist is passed on to CJSW’s in a respectful, non-judgemental, confidential manner and enables criminal justice social workers to make defensible recommendations to the court for perpetrators of domestic violence.

As Women & Family Safety workers in Tayside we liaise closely with CJSW’s during the report writing stage and throughout the stages of the perpetrator programmes. Our support of partner’s / ex-partners can offer valuable insights for CJSW into how participation on a programme can effect change for perpetrators and their victims. Support and advice from Women & Family Safety workers can enable women and their children to feel in control of their own safety, whether in or out of a relationship.

Contact 01382 450052. Our office address is 40C Arthurstone Terrace, Dundee, DD4 6QT.

SHINE Mentoring:

The service is available to all adult females who are:

currently serving a custodial sentence in Scotland of less than four years and not subject to a statutory order or; on remand or; subject to a Community Payback Order. For further details on eligibility visit our criteria page.

How We Help:

Mentoring is a way of helping and supporting people in achieving their goals. The Shine Women's Mentoring service provides women with a mentor who will provide support on a one-to-one basis with many of the issues they might face in the community. A Shine mentor will discuss any issues the woman may have before participation with the programme. This will be done in prison, prior to release or in the community if serving a CPO.


Non specialist services with some women only elements

Tayside Council on Alcohol:

Contact Details 01382 456012

Women Only Mentoring (WoM) - women aged 16+ involved in the community justice system in order to reduce their offending, rebuild their lives, and re-integrate into community. Strong and reliable relationship between mentor and mentee. This allows holistic exploration of the multiple and complex needs of the women.

Women Only Mentoring group - Women only Mentoring activity Group .e.g. Arts and Crafts, Walking, choir, creative arts, journals etc.            

Beyond Mentoring-Voluntary aftercare service - Voluntary aftercare service, providing low level, gender specific support. Supported by project staff, peer led, delivering drop-ins, recovery groups, support groups, activity groups, training and volunteering opportunities.              

Women Only Zone (WoZ)- Offering support to women who have or had issues around alcohol. The group also come together as a Focus Group (Listening Groups) to give personal experience and feedback on current issues e.g. Over provision of licensed premises in Dundee.

1:1 Counselling & Creative Therapies - delivered by qualified, supervised Counsellors. This service is offered by Counsellors who have insight into women specific needs.           

Hillcrest Futures:

Contact: 03001232644

Women -only Living Skills Group -For women affected by homelessness.  Women living in hostel accommodation, promoting living skills & pathways to recovery.

Women only support at Cairn Centre -  on Friday mornings - female multi agency HUB 10 to 12 working in partnership with vice versa , criminal justice , action for children , harm reduction and BBV team .

Friday a worker is also available 1 to 4 for one to one support at the Cairn Centre for females only.

Women only support at Lochee Hub - one to one support for females only at Lochee hub 10 to 1 then offer a women’s only group 1 to 2:30 were we do pamper sessions and art and crafts with positive conversation

A worker covers all hostels doing women only drop-ins at Salvation army ,Brewery lane and Dundee survival group (Tuesdays)

We are With You (formerly Addaction):

Contact: 01382 206888

Direct Access Clinics - keyworkers offer structured 1:1 work      

2 days per week – based in different localities   

Scottie Centre drop in for women involved in prostitution - Joint partnership with Maryfield Police, Keep Well and WRASAC             

Fitness Classes with Street Soccer at Signpost Centre    Tuesday (am)   

Cooking/Wellbeing Group    

Counselling Referral through Addaction Worker

Venture trust : Next Steps is for women (16+) whose backgrounds have led to their involvement in offending or to experience homelessness or misuse drugs or alcohol which may impact on their wellbeing, relationships and life circumstances.

After an assessment period we support individuals to identify the changes they want to make in their lives and develop goals to help achieve them. During this period, we offer regular community-based outreach support to identify and mitigate against any barriers prior to offering a 5-day supportive residential based Wilderness Journey usually in the highlands of Scotland.

The Wilderness Journey focuses on supporting individuals to develop the skills and coping strategies to maintain their motivation to implement the changes on their return. Further outreach support back in their local community encourages progression and embedding positive changes.

Our programmes provide support for up to 9 months helping individuals to make and sustain connections to services and employment, education, training or volunteering opportunities within their communities.

Contact: easthub@venturetrust.cjsm.net (secure email)


New Beginnings :

The aim of the service is to help babies yet to be born or under the age of one whose lives could be affected by parental substance misuse, mental health issues or learning disabilities. Services offered by New Beginnings for women include:

  • Substance misuse treatment/recovery
  • Mental Health - 1:1 sessions
  • Antenatal care
  • Learning disability - assessment/1:1 sessions
  • Pregnancy matters - financial advice/support
  • Maternity hospital bags - essential items/toiletries
  • Sanitary products
  • Toiletries
  • Sexual health - advice/contraceptive implant


LGBT Women and Non Binary People      

LGBT Women:

All specialist support services in Dundee work with LGBT women and understand the specific issues they may face.

WRASAC statement -

You can be a survivor of sexual violence regardless of your gender or the gender of the perpetrator. You are not to blame and deserve support. Local rape crisis services in Dundee understand that lesbian, bisexual, queer, transgender and intersex survivors may face additional real or perceived barriers when accessing services and may have particular worries, fears or concerns. Many LGBTI survivors may be reluctant to report sexual violence because of a fear of being discriminated against. The police have a duty under the Equality Act to not discriminate against people on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, and if you feel that you have been discriminated against then you have the right to make a complaint. A worker at Rape Crisis can support a person through the process of reporting if they feel this would be helpful

Dundee Women's Aid statement -

When domestic abuse is happening in a lesbian or bisexual woman's relationship it may be even harder to name these behaviours as abusive and hard for people to accept that a female partner could be an abuser.                                      

Some of the issues that may be faced by lesbian or bisexual women in an abusive relationship are:

  • Experiencing abuse from a former partner. The context of this abuse may lead to behaviours such as stalking and harassment, attempts to stop a woman behaving in a certain way, attempts to restrict access to lesbian and gay spaces or efforts to stop a woman seeing her new partner.
  • Threats or actual sexual violence may also be used by a former partner.
  • Some lesbian and bisexual women have children and it Is important to remember that domestic abuse affects children significantly regardless of the sexuality or gender orientation of their parents. As with heterosexual women, lesbian or bisexual women can find that abuse escalates or even starts at the time of pregnancy. Lesbian and bisexual women may also experience judgemental attitudes about their parental choices and abilities. This knowledge can be used against them by abusers as part of the pattern of control.
  • Using someone's sexuality to abuse them - threats to 'out' a woman, disclose their sexual orientation or gender identity without their consent to family/employers etc, criticising them for not being a' real' lesbian or bisexual woman, playing on fears that no-one will help due to sexual orientation and that agencies such as the Police are homophobic or biphobic. This can lead to a woman thinking services are not aimed at them, or would not offer an appropriate service. Dundee Women's Aid are committed to being inclusive to lesbian, bisexual and transgender women.

Transgender experiences:

Transgender people are at a high risk of domestic abuse, especially emotionally abusive transphobic behaviours, when they come out as trans for the first time to existing partners. A second high risk point for domestic abuse, especially emotionally abusive transphobic behaviours, occurs when a person reveals plans to undergo gender reassignment to a partner who is already aware of the person's trans identity but has been assuming that they would not transition. The negative partner reactions included a range of verbal, emotional and physical abuses. Cases that involve extreme violence have also been disclosed to the Scottish Transgender Alliance.

All these myths are based on misconceptions and prejudice ideas about family. Where someone is experiencing domestic abuse it is because one person (former or current partner) is attempting to exert power or control over them, exactly as it is in a heterosexual situation. Regardless of the gender of a partner or ex-partner, or the presence of children, it can be very difficult for any woman to leave an abusive relationship.

A recent study in Scotland showed that the most frequent form of abuse experienced by transgender women was transphobic emotional abuse. Some of the behaviours described were -

  • Stopping someone from taking medication or having treatment needed to express gender identity (e.g. hormones, surgery).
  • Stopping someone from being able to express your gender identity through other changes in appearance (e.g. the clothes you wear, hair, make up).
  • Stopping someone from being able to express gender identity through how they describe themselves (e.g. the name and pronouns used).
  • Stopping someone from telling other people about their trans background or identity.
  • Threatening to tell people about someone's trans background or identity.
  • Making someone feel ashamed, guilty, or wrong about their trans background or identity.
  • Stopping someone from engaging with other trans people or attending transgender social groups and support groups.
  • Drawing attention to, or focus on, parts of someone's body that they feel uncomfortable about.

Non Binary People:

The Dundee VAWP has identified that there is a lack of understanding about non-binary people and their needs and is making it a priority to address this.

A survey carried out by the Scottish Trans Alliance found that:

Respondents’ experiences of physical and sexual violence were significantly worse in public spaces than when accessing services. 32% had experienced physical intimidation and threats, and 35% had experienced sexual harassment because of their non-binary identity and 13% reported being sexually assaulted due to being non-binary.

The report highlights the serious and significant impact that a lack of visibility and inclusion in services has on non-binary people. This was particularly the case around non-binary people’s emotional wellbeing, with 84% feeling their gender identity wasn’t valid, 83% feeling more isolated and excluded, 76% feeling that they had lower selfesteem and 65% feeling they had poorer mental health due to the lack of representation of people like them within services. 63% also said they were less likely to access services because of this lack of visibility and inclusion, which means that non-binary people may be less likely to engage with health services, education, and other hugely important institutions due to feeling excluded from provision. This could explain why 21% felt that they had poorer physical health due to a lack of visibility and inclusion in services – they may have
been unwilling to access the support they needed due to services not feeling welcoming.

In Dundee there are a number of services who support non binary people where they are experiencing domestic or sexual abuse and violence:

WRASAC - support services and advocacy services

Multi-agency Independent Advocacy Service (for high risk victims of domestic abuse) -

Tel: 01382 596100 

Email: info@miadundee.co.uk

All other mainstream support services such as housing and welfare advice services listed on this website would be able of offer support - see link