Understanding women’s experience of justice
‘Reducing re-traumatisation will promote equality’ – report
Work to reduce the re-traumatisation of victims and witnesses of crime will help promote equality in Scotland’s justice system, according to some of the most senior women leaders in the sector.
Solicitor General Ruth Charteris KC, Chief Superintendent Hilary Sloan from Police Scotland and Jen Ang of the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre are among eight co-authors of an independent report that aims to help give policy-makers and agencies a clearer understanding of how women’s experiences of justice differs from men and what can be done to improve those experiences.
Commissioned through the Women in Justice Leadership Panel, the report brings together evidence gathered from across Scotland’s justice system. Its findings conclude that supporting women in ways which met their individual needs could have a powerful impact of on their perception of justice – leading to greater trust in the system.
The conclusions back Scottish Government-funded work already underway to embed trauma-informed practice across the justice system – a key aim of the Victims, Witnesses and Justice Reform (Scotland) Bill.
The report is being shared with the National Advisory Council on Women and Girls, which advises the First Minister on how to tackle gender inequality in Scotland.
Minister for Victims and Community Safety Siobhian Brown said:
“I am grateful to the senior female leaders in Scotland’s justice sector who have taken the time to examine the system in the round. Their report puts forward the case for policy-making within justice that reflects women’s various social identities, such as race, disability or religion, so that their experiences can be improved.
“I thank everyone who contributed to the report, since it is their specialist knowledge and testimonies which have provided a clear and unambiguous foundation to inform and influence key justice partners and beyond.
“The conclusions are owned by the Panel members, who will use their influence and positions to effect change. These findings will help the Scottish Government change and deliver a justice sector which is truly responsive to the needs of women and girls.”
Read ’The Case for Gendered and Intersectional Approaches to Justice’
Members of the Women in Justice Leadership Panel include:
• Ruth Charteris KC, Solicitor General
• Jacqueline Clinton, Scottish Prisons Service
• Hilary Sloan, Chief Superintendent Police Scotland
• Rose McConnachie, Head of learning, development and innovation at Community Justice Scotland
• Jen Ang, Director of Development and Policy Scottish Women's Right Centre/Just Right
• Harriet Wistrich, Director, Centre for Women’s Justice
• Professor Vanessa Munro, University of Warwick, School of Law
• Mariam Ahmed, Chief Executive Officer for Amina Muslim Women’s Resource Centre
• The Panel has been chaired by the two previous Ministers for Community Safety.