Counsellor and activist;

Counsellor and activist;

Born: March 22, 1954; Died: September 13, 2013.

Irene Campbell, who has died at the age of 59, was a counsellor and feminist activist who worked to end domestic abuse and violence against women.

The highly acclaimed work of her mother, the writer Agnes Owens, provides an insight into her early influences and values in which she was immersed from an early age. She grew up in Milngavie in a large family and having settled in the Vale of Leven, joined Dumbarton District Women's Aid in 1990. She was an active member of the wider Women's Aid movement in Scotland campaigning to bring the issue of domestic abuse into the public arena, to change public attitudes and to provide better services for women and children.

In 2003, she established West Dunbartonshire Council's CARA (Challenging and Responding to Abuse) Project. Now a person-centred counsellor, she specialised in working with women survivors of domestic abuse, rape, sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse. She was one of the first in Scotland to introduce the three-stage trauma model developed by the American psychiatrist Judith Herman into her work with women recovering from the impact of domestic abuse.

Her work combined trauma-informed counselling with new models of advocacy developed in the US for use with domestic abuse victims and survivors. The subsequent success of these approaches has led to their widespread use in many specialist violence-against-women services around the country, and to their incorporation in methods of policing and prosecuting domestic abuse in Scotland.

Ms Campbell developed the CARA service as one of the key domestic abuse support agencies in West Dunbartonshire - an area with high rates of domestic abuse. She was at her best listening to women with kindness and a sensitive professionalism that was often rare in their lives. Her collaborative and training work with a wide range of local support agencies, including social work and housing, health, the criminal justice system and the police, has gone on to make a significant contribution to improving local multi-agency responses to all forms of violence against women.

She was a kind, generous and loving woman who always supported people who were being treated unfairly or cruelly. She was razor sharp in seeing and cutting through red tape. Her passions for her garden, for art, photography, music, reading and the Scottish landscape were reflected in the home and life she shared with her extended family. She leaves a great personal and professional legacy in the life she lived, the body of work she created and in the difference she made to many people's lives.

She is survived by her husband Gordon and son Calum.