AN IRVINE woman has set up a new online safe space to help support women who have suffered domestic abuse whether physically or emotionally.

Speaking Out is the brainchild of Gillian Sturgeon, who told the Times she launched the group in late August to offer women a safe environment to share their stories and be heard and understood.

The Facebook group offers support and a friendly, discreet ear to any woman who has suffered from or is currently in a relationship with an abusive partner – now with a few hundred members, including women from as far off as the US and South Africa.

Assisted by a passionate and dedicated team of admins, Gillian Sturgeon is hopeful the group –which she adds has no religious or political affiliation – will reach as many women as possible.

Ms Sturgeon said: “Member numbers are growing every week and I am delighted we now have women from far afield who have joined and received a warm Scottish welcome.

“Speaking Out fully supports the new legislation criminalising psychological abuse, including coercive control. However, much more needs to be done to educate people about the nature of this type of abuse, the red flags to look for and how important it is to recognise them quickly and take steps to cut ties with the abuser. This type of abuse is commonly used narcissists and it is important to us at Speaking Out, more women recognise this is abuse and that they can do something about it.”

If residents or someone they know might benefit from joining Speaking Out, they can find the group on Facebook, or they can message Ms Sturgeon who will provide more information.

No abusers are named within the group and no members are ever under any pressure to share their


“All too often people don’t realise that there is a bigger picture surrounding the circumstances. I was mentally beat and lost all my confidence and self worth. Too many women are subjected to this everyday.

“We also offer one to one help and guidance privately.”

For more information about the Speaking Out group and or to join, message Gill on her Facebook page, Ssurgeon Gillian.

People can also contact Gill via WhatsApp on 07519357725.

Anonymity is always guaranteed out with the group.