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STUC 2011



Domestic abuse: We have a critical role in campaigning for protection, prevention, provision and workplace policies

Marie Garrity
Marie Garrity
The STUC in Ayr backed the Women’s Aid STOP campaign and heard a powerful and courageous speech from UNISON’s Marie Garrity, seconding a GMB motion.

“One in five Scottish Women experience domestic abuse. I was one of those women”, she told delegates.

“Let’s not just pay lip service to this motion. “We have a critical role in campaigning for protection, prevention, provision and workplace policies.”

Marie spoke of bearing the scars of physical, mental and sexual abuse, still bearing the memories 14 years on. Even after she left, she told delegates, she was harassed and assaulted at work.

"About 10 years ago I stood on a rostrum at Conference and admitted that I had suffered at the hands, feet and mouth of my ex-husband. It pains me more that statistics are similar today as they were then", said Marie.

The motion called for the STUC to urge the Scottish Government and CoSLA to invest substantial funding into front line services and to campaign against cuts in legal aid.

It also called for the STUC to engage with the 'STOP' campaign to roll out prevention work to places of education, community groups and workplaces.

"Domestic abuse is all around us. It could be your mum, sister, daughter, best friend. It could be someone sitting next to you in this room", said Marie.

"14 years ago I would have been unable to stand up here and speak to you because I believed I was fat and ugly and stupid. I was told this on a daily basis.

"Thankfully due to the love and support of family, friends and UNISON colleagues, a very different woman stands before you today", she added to spontaneous applause from delegates.

Finally, Marie reminded Congress that there are also men who suffer at the hands of abusing women although the statistics are much lower.

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