Scottish Labour have criticised the SNP government for repeatedly delaying an expert report on violence against women.

The SNP government published a strategy for ending violence against women and girls back in June of 2014, with an expert group due to report by March this year on International Women’s Day.

However, the report has been delayed so badly that sixteen months later in November the board only had its first meeting.

Speaking ahead of a SNP debate on the strategy, Scottish Labour have called for answers on the delay. Scottish Labour Justice Spokesperson Elaine Murray said:

“Everyone deserves to feel safe and no one deserves to go through the trauma of domestic violence.

Scottish Labour completely supports the Scottish Government’s Equally Safe Strategy; however, we have real concerns on the delay of implementing and funding the Strategy, serious questions need to be asked as to why it is so far behind schedule.

The original timetable was to have the report from the Joint Strategic Board in March 2015.However, the board has only just had its first meeting this month.

There needs to be more legislation in these areas and the SNP Government has waited until the final hour to introduce any standalone legislation.

After eight years in government and with a majority in parliament there are no excuses for the SNP not doing more on this key issue.”