The setting up of the partnership, which aims to provide leadership and co-ordination to the many agencies at national and local level dealing with this issue, was announced on 19 June by Mrs Liddell's predecessor Henry McLeish.
Commenting on the partnership, Mrs Liddell said: 'Action on domestic violence is a national priority for this government. The need for a multi-agency approach to domestic violence has been recognised in a number of recent reports and we are adopting that approach by bringing together the key agencies at national level. The partnership will be asked for recommendations to improve services for victims everywhere, while also seeking the most effective ways of stopping men being violent in the first place.'
The provisional remit of the Partnership is to be:
to recommend minimum standards and levels of service for women experiencing domestic violence in order to encourage consistent service delivery throughout Scotland, having particular regard to the needs of women from rural areas, women from ethnic minorities and women with disabilities and taking into account the impact on children and young people affected;
to recommend effective intervention strategies to prevent male violence against female partners and their children;
to recommend a framework for monitoring of progress in dealing with domestic violence;
to cost all recommendations involving resources;
to consider which recommendations should be given priority for action, taking account of such factors as their impact, costs, the speed with which they can be implemented, and local variations in needs and existing provision; and
to report to the minister for women's Issues by 31 March 1999, setting out a detailed workplan and timescale for discharging the remit in full.
The membership will include representatives from:
The Scottish Office
The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
The Law Society of Scotland
The Sheriffs Association
The National Health Service in Scotland
The Association of Police Chief Officers (Scotland)
Scottish Women's Aid
Victim Support Scotland
In order to assist the partnership to discharge its remit The Scottish office proposes to appoint two expert panels, one representing organisations and individuals with expertise in women's experience of domestic violence, and the other representing organisations and individuals with expertise in effective interventions with men.