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Introducing Hanan and Rachel – SWRC’s caseworkers

We are excited to welcome Hanan El-Atrash and Rachel Hill, the two new Caseworkers who recently joined our team!

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As Caseworkers, they support the SWRC’s solicitors in their day-to-day legal casework. Their activities are varied and extensive and include the development of legal resources and training. Although the work they undertake may often be ‘behind the scenes’, it has been vital to increase our solicitors’ capacity to offer much needed service to survivors of gender based violence.

In this blog, Hanan and Rachel tell us more about their past experience and their motivation to join the SWRC.

Hanan

Can you tell us more about the work you were doing before joining the SWRC?

Since graduating from Law at the University of Glasgow, I have worked and volunteered as a Caseworker in several third sector organisations in Glasgow, including the University of Strathclyde Law Clinic and the Destitute Asylum Seekers Service. I am very passionate about promoting social justice, human rights and public legal education. It is my belief that social justice can be achieved if we empower individuals to understand their legal rights and options, so they can make informed decisions when exercising their rights, despite the significant barriers that vulnerable individuals may face in doing so.

What drew you to the Scottish Women's Rights Centre?

In my experience as a Caseworker, I have seen the need for the specialist services that the SWRC offers and I believe that the Centre addresses this gap in a holistic and effective way. I’ve also had the opportunity to work with the organisations involved in the SWRC and I’ve found the compassionate, knowledgeable and innovative approach that they take in assisting survivors to be incredibly inspiring, which is why I am excited to be a part of this project and to contribute towards its work.

What I most look forward to is working with the SWRC’s solicitors and partner organisations to assist women to become empowered and to access justice through information, advice and representation. The Centre offers a holistic approach that keeps the individual at the forefront of everything we do and provides a thorough service that aims to address their needs through the legal service provided by JustRight Scotland, the support of the University of Strathclyde Law Clinic volunteers, and Rape Crisis Scotland’s advocacy work. I believe that all of this is key to support and improve survivors’ experiences of the legal process.

Rachel

Can you tell us more about the work you were doing before joining the SWRC?

Alongside working part-time at the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre, I have worked as a Caseworker for the British Red Cross. In this role, I have supported asylum seekers in Glasgow facing destitution and homelessness, and also refugees with complex needs. Prior to that, I worked as a paralegal in an international commercial law firm. During this time, I also began volunteering at Glasgow & Clyde Rape Crisis. It was after this experience that I decided to focus my career on improving access to justice and empowering vulnerable people to assert their rights. This led me to pursue a Master’s degree in Human Rights Law, which I completed last year.

What drew you to the Scottish Women's Rights Centre?

I’ve always been passionate about access to justice, feminism and women’s rights. My time volunteering as a Support Worker at Glasgow and Clyde Rape Crisis really solidified these passions as I heard directly from women about the ways in which the legal system has failed them time and again. This experience really pushed me to pursue a career where I could increase access to justice for women who have experienced gender based violence.

For this reason, I’ve admired the work of the SWRC ever since it was first established, and it was always my goal to one day become a part of the team. The Centre is incredibly unique, as there are very few organisations which strive to address the gap between women’s experience of violence or abuse and their ability to access justice. I am looking forward to seeing the positive impact that our work will have on the individual women we support, as well as the broader effect of our strategic legal interventions on policy, law and practice.

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