Scheme to support victims of violence given Scottish government boost

Michael Matheson

More patients affected by violence will be offered support during admission to hospital to help them turn away from violence in their lives.

The Scottish government has awarded £140,000 to the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit to expand its ‘Navigator’ programme to Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow and Crosshouse Hospital in South Ayrshire.

Navigator is a unique scheme which seeks to help people trapped in a cycle of violence. Mentors or ‘navigators’ provide support in hospital, help to diffuse difficult situations, and identify support services that patients can access.

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson announced the funding ahead of an address to 60 cyclists embarking on a charity bike ride in aid of the Navigators’ Running on Empty Fund.

He said: “Violent crime in Scotland has nearly halved over the last decade but there remains a small number of victims who experience a high proportion of such crimes.

“Navigators do a remarkable job dealing sensitively and compassionately with people who are injured and distressed – helping them make steps towards turning their lives around, breaking away from the cycle of violence – and I am pleased to be able to fund their expansion.

“In less than two years this unique programme has offered support to more than 450 people, as well as reassuring emergency department staff that patients who come through their doors will receive a listening ear and practical support as well as the medical treatment they need.”