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Support in the workplace is critical for women experiencing domestic abuse, and for some it can be a lifeline. This is especially pertinent at the moment when the COVID-19 pandemic means most employees are now working from home. For those living with abusive partners, they might now find themselves trapped with their abuser for significant periods of time and may find it more difficult to reach out for advice and support.
by Sharon Cowan, Chloë Kennedy and Vanessa Munro
What is the Scottish Feminist Judgments Project (SFJP)? The SFJP is a collaborative legal project involving over 40 contributors: university academics, lawyers, judges, activists and artists. The project examines sixteen important legal cases in Scotland, and rewrites the judges’ decisions as if the judge had been a feminist, using only the resources that would have been available to the judge at the time of the original case.
Over the past four years, Richard Whitecross, a legal researcher at Edinburgh Napier University, has been doing research on how the courts handle child contact cases in which there has been domestic abuse. He has interviewed lawyers, sheriffs and many women with children.
One of the key concerns raised with him by mothers with experience of domestic abuse is about the Child Welfare Report prepared for the court. With support from the Royal Society of Edinburgh, he is beginning a new project to look at Child Welfare Reports and how they report, or not, domestic abuse.
As part of a feminist leadership group based in Scotland, we have published a series of blogs from BAME women in Scotland, highlighting the challenges and inequalities many Black and ethnic minority women are facing.
The blogs are written by members of the Feel Good Women’s Group in Govanhill, the Ubuntu Women Shelter, members of the Young Women’s Movement in Scotland and Zero Tolerance. They discuss a variety of issues including community activism, the impact of the policy of no recourse to public funds, personal experiences of racism and sexism and the links between anti-racism work and prevention of violence against women.
In this blog we share the powerful account of a survivor who endured years of sexual harassment from her male work colleagues. Her testimony brings to light the many obstacles she faced to report the perpetrators and put an end to the abuse, as well as the emotional impact on her life and the journey to heal from this devastating experience.
Content warning: this story includes descriptions of physical and sexual harassment, suicidal thoughts, depression, and references to domestic abuse and sexual violence. You can find details of support services here and at the end of this blog post.
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