The Scottish Women’s Rights Centre is delighted to announce our new partnership with JustRight Scotland, a Scottish legal provider with human rights at their core.
Going forward, we’ll be working closely with JustRight Scotland to continue to provide free legal advice, information and representation to women affected by violence or abuse.
Put simply, we exist because there is a gap between women’s experience of violence or abuse, and their ability to access to justice. Scotland has come a long way in how we respond to gendered crimes like domestic abuse, stalking and forced marriage, but there is the same distance again and more to travel before we can truly say we have achieved equality. For example, just 1% of perpetrators of domestic abuse receive a sentence of more than 6 months - let that sink in. Women still experience many barriers to accessing justice. As a result, crimes that disproportionately affect women, like sexual violence and female genital mutilation, are frequently underreported, and victim-survivors of these crimes unable to access justice.
Scotland’s justice system is evolving and laws on coercive control, image based abuse and others that women have fought hard to realise are making progress through the Scottish Parliament. Police Scotland have put domestic abuse high on their agenda, and work closely with organisations like our own to improve their approach and make sure that it is informed by women’s experiences.
Since the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre was founded we’ve represented women in court, and support women to navigate an often confusing process. We've advocated to make sure that women can make their voices heard. We're creating an app that will support victim-survivors of stalking to record their experience, and we've created step by step guides to Scotland's legal system. There is much more to be done.
Kirsty Thomson, Partner and Director at JustRight Scotland, says:
"At JustRight Scotland we believe in collaborative social justice - the idea that social justice is better achieved when lawyers work with non-lawyers across sectors and in partnership, pooling expertise and resources. For this reason, we are delighted to have the opportunity to join forces with the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre, expanding provision of legal advice and information, with the shared aim of realising human rights and increasing access to justice for women and children in Scotland."
The vision we share with JustRight is of a Scotland where women’s rights are recognised, realised and respected, and we will continue to work hard with organisations and individuals across Scotland to make it so.