Behind glass walls….
Like my colleagues, I have always tried to do my best in the prosecution of domestic abuse offences. But I started to worry that I was part of the problem, when I wanted to be part of the solution. I took a step back from my professional role as a lawyer to undertake doctoral research. I have spent the last 3 years speaking directly to women about their experiences of the justice process and researching Scotland’s response to domestic abuse.
Over the last 20 years, since the advent of the Scottish Parliament, we have witnessed a phenomenal pace of change to policy, law and public understanding of the dynamics of domestic abuse. It is no longer hidden behind closed doors. Yet, during the course of my research, I found countless examples of sinister, coercively controlling behaviour during the court process, enabled by gender inequality within the justice system. Women brave enough to call the police, to speak up, told me they felt crazy. They described ongoing abuse in plain sight of police officers, bar reporters, prosecutors, lawyers and sheriffs; they described living behind glass walls.
This project is a bid to raise awareness of the enduring barriers to justice encountered by women who have experienced domestic abuse. By working with a talented artistic team and a group of resilient and inspirational women, I hope that we can shine a light on these barriers and encourage greater equality within our justice system.