Law Clinic student advisor Rebecca Tait, and a new member of the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre advisor writes about her experience with the SWRC.
‘’The Scottish Women’s Rights Centre (SWRC) has been a collaborative effort between the Law Clinic, Just Right Scotland and Rape Crisis Scotland since 2015. It exists to give advice to women suffering from gender-based violence and helps them navigate various legal routes to protect themselves. A vital element to the collaboration’s success is the use of helplines. As a student volunteer since the beginning of the year, these helplines are my main responsibility and I cannot emphasise their importance enough.
“These helplines allow women to speak with a solicitor in confidence, free of charge. This broadens legal access for women who maybe be in very upsetting and difficult situations. The service is vital for many women who may be unable to leave the house or who are having their income controlled by a partner. As a student volunteer, I help the solicitor take notes for the case management system, and sometimes help with research. The variety of issues that appear in the helpline are vast and the calls are always different. The training sessions we had to attend at the beginning of the year were designed to help us understand some of these topics in more depth.’’
Furthermore, reflecting on her experience Rebecca notes:
“the prevalence of domestic abuse and gender-based violence in Scotland is something that took me a while to get my head around. There are areas in which the law is lacking still, and it is in these areas where the SWRC is trying to enforce positive change. I am honoured to be a part of this collaboration and would encourage other clinic members to take part if they are ever given the opportunity.”
To receive monthly updates on the work completed by the University of Strathclyde Law Clinic straight to your email, please sign up here.