Prisons take part in 16 Days of Action to End Violence Against Women

Learning Centre staff from New College Lanarkshire worked with individuals at HMP YOI Cornton Vale and HMP Low Moss throughout the 16 days of action, launched on November 25, to raise awareness about the issue of violence against women in its many forms and locations round the world.

In Cornton Vale, on Wednesday November 25th, the group A Moment’s Peace ran the first of 3 workshops examining the issue of privilege and what it means to have or to not have privilege in today’s world. In their first session they discussed with the women what privilege actually means and its impact. The responses were gathered together and in the following two sessions the women started to work on their own collages on the theme.   The completed pieces will be exhibited along with work from 5 other women’s groups from across Scotland in Easterhouse in April 2016.

On the afternoon of November 25th the launch event took place. Ann Garvie, International President of the Soroptomists visited to talk and listen to a group of women, officers and support staff describing their experiences of trying to succeed on release from prison and the obstacles that have to be overcome.

On December 8th Staci Ryan who is a board member of SCOT-PEP, co-founder of Umbrella Lane in Glasgow and convener of The International Committee of the rights of sex workers in Europe came into the Learning Centre at Cornton Vale. Staci is a researcher at the University of Glasgow and is part of a group lobbying the Scottish Government on behalf of sex workers.

In HMP Low Moss, prisoners used creative writing to explore the topic of men’s violence against women. The literature and creative writing prompts support learners to explore the theme further by examining gender stereotypes, the concept of masculinity alongside human rights infringements suffered by women both locally and in a global context.