Who We Are

Dr Rhonda Wheate

Dr Rhonda Wheate is a Senior Knowledge Exchange Fellow and Director of Clinical Law Programmes at the University of Strathclyde Law School.  Her areas of expertise are criminal law and evidence (Scots, UK, and Australian) including research, publications, knowledge exchange, and supervision of doctoral research about domestic abuse, insecure immigration statuses, victims in criminal law, homicide, sexual abuse, media law, and defences available to domestically abused women, and how expert evidence is used in criminal trials especially by juries.

Dr Elaine McLaughlin

Dr Elaine McLaughlin has been employed with Hemat Gryffe Women’s Aid for twenty-two years, supporting thousands of women experiencing domestic abuse, forced marriage and honour-based abuse.    In 2017, Elaine was awarded a PhD entitled, ‘South Asian Women & Domestic Abuse in Scotland: An Uncertain Legal Status and No Recourse to Public Funds.’    Elaine is also an invited member of a UK-wide study involving Forced Marriage facilitated by the Rt. Hon. Dame Butler-Sloss and participates in numerous local and national gender-based abuse fora.  Elaine has many years’ experience providing training and awareness-raising to the voluntary and statutory sectors, about the impact of domestic abuse and unique difficulties encountered by women from a minority ethnic backgrounds and provides ongoing assistance to Police Scotland in this area.

In May 2022, Elaine was the Inaugural recipient of the Scottish Institute for Policing Research/Police Scotland Early Career Impact Award for her research on violence against women in South Asian communities living in Scotland. 

Mhairi McGowan

Mhairi McGowan has extensive experience supporting women and men who have experienced domestic abuse, of leading and supporting teams and building innovative strategic and operational partnerships and practice.  She has worked with all levels of Government; the statutory and voluntary sector to develop legislation and institutional practice with the aim of building a coherent and integrated response to victims of abuse. She managed Scotland’s first domestic abuse court advocacy service and introduced systematic risk assessment. She established one of the first Maracs in Scotland and worked with the police to set up a tasking process for perpetrators, both of which have been rolled out across Scotland. She has advised on strategic and operational practice internationally.

Professor Elizabeth Gilchrist

Professor Elizabeth Gilchrist holds a Chair in Psychological Therapies at the University of Edinburgh. Her expertise includes: Multidisciplinary responses to domestic abuse; substance use and intimate partner abuse perpetration by men in substance use treatment; Interventions to reduce intimate partner violence perpetration by men who use substances; victims’ experiences of reporting harassment and stalking to the police; feasibility, appropriateness, meaningfulness, and effectiveness of parenting and family support programs delivered in the Criminal Justice System.

Dr Scott Grant

Dr Scott Grant is a lecturer at the School of Education and Social Work, University of Dundee. His expertise includes the history and practice of justice social work in Scotland and across Europe. Before entering academia, Scott was a criminal justice social worker who worked extensively with perpetrators of domestic abuse where he conducted risk assessments, authored court reports, and implemented risk management plans for those subject to community sanctions and measures.

Hemat Gryffe Women’s Aid

Hemat Gryffe Women’s Aid is a feminist organisation founded in 1981 and is Scotland’s first Asian, Black and Minority Ethnic Women’s Aid Group.    Providing culturally sensitive and bilingual services for over forty years primarily to women from minority ethnic backgrounds experiencing domestic abuse, forced marriage and honour-based abuse, the organisation is based in Glasgow.