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The Story of Wise Women

In the early 80’s various Glasgow women’s services recognised there was a need to pro-actively raise the issues of violence and abuse with women in Glasgow.

By 1983 The Women’s Support Project (WSP) in Partnership with a Coach from The Workers Educational Association decided to pilot the first Personal Safety Course for Women in Glasgow.

The Course managed to find a way to present information to women that highlighted where they are at risk, why they are at risk and who they are at risk from in a non threatening environment and included information on Domestic Abuse, Rape and Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment and Childhood Abuse.

The demand for the Courses was immediate and from here the WSP agreed to co-ordinate and host this work across the city, training new tutors, setting up courses and adapting programmes ensuring women dealing with complex issues and discrimination were able to access the service.

The demand for the Courses continued to grow and in 1994 funding was awarded from Glasgow City Council and the Women’s Safety Centre (now Wise Women) was set up in the East End of Glasgow and on 14th August 1994 the first of 3 members of staff was employed.

Having the budget to develop and promote the work had a hugely positive impact. Between 1994 and 1999 we were able to progress and facilitate up to 12 courses and 15 workshops per year.

Despite positive feedback and evaluations from women, the Women’s Safety Centre were given a 100% funding cut along with other projects and a hard year ensued to try reinstate monies to continue our work.    In 2000 all the unpaid and dedicated work paid off; Glasgow City Council awarded us Social Inclusion funding to enable us to work throughout Glasgow, we secured Company Limited by Guarantee with charitable status reflecting our Glasgow Wide focus and changed to our new name of Wise Women.

Now in 2011 we are heading for our 17th year of service for women. Over the past decade in addition to our Personal Safety work we have developed our Confidence Building Courses, worked with Deaf Women to produce an accessible pack and signed DVD on Violence Against Women, set up a 2 yr satellite Project to work with Disabled Women highlighting different and additional experiences of abuse and discrimination, developed a resource for raising the issue of the impact the media has on women and girls body image and self esteem, as well as hosting the Glasgow Women’s Voluntary Sector Network.

And … we’re not finished yet! Areas and funding can and do regularly change but our core beliefs and values remains the same as it was 17 yrs ago and will always be at the heart of who we are and what we do.

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Helpful Links

  • Glasgow East Women's Aid
  • Hemat Gryffe Women's Aid
  • Say Women
  • Glasgow Rape Crisis
  • Rape Crisis Scotland
  • Women's Support Project
  • Drumchapel Women's Aid
  • Glasgow Women's Aid
  • Castlemilk Domestic Abuse Project


Phone: 0141 370 0739

SMS: 07969 835 966

Address: 120 Sydney Street,
Glasgow, G31 1JF

E-mail: info@wisewomen.org.uk