International Women’s Day is held every year on 8th March to celebrate the movement for women’s rights. At Aurora we want to celebrate the women who have inspired and driven us to make a difference to victims and survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence and stalking.
The Aurora team pulled together a list of their top 18 amazing sisters for 2018, each woman has inspired us in our work and their efforts mean a lot to us. They keep us going when the work gets tough.
The list of women we have chosen represent the undeniable contributions they have made to the violence against women sector. All these women have formed part of the history of our movement from re-establishing reclaim the night marches, fundraising and naming the women who have died at the hands of male violence to tackling the obvious oppression of women in the legal system.
They are not in any particular order – in our eyes every single one of these women is a total warrior and #TeamAurora thank every single one of them from the bottom of our feminist hearts and boots.
Karen Ingala-Smith For her heart breaking annual search and recording of ‘counting dead women’ murdered at the hands of men which reminds us all why we work in this sector. If ever we need reminding why we do this work we look at Karen’s website and take heart that Karen names those women for us all to continue our work in their honour.
Professor Amanda Robinson – for her work around the identification and management of priority perps, which has been really influential in our own services, research and practice.
Rachel Williams for being a total warrior and overcoming her horrific experiences of DA to fight consistently for victim’s voices to be heard.
Jean Hatchet For her tireless campaigning and fundraising for women who have been murdered, she adds her voice to the VAW sector in an empowering and inspiring way and uses her social media platform for the benefit of survivors. We love her for her sheer tenacity, focus, wit and even when she is angry her grammar is impeccable!
Diana Barren For changing the lives of high risk victims of domestic abuse and the landscape in which we work. She was the driving force for the implementation of IDVA’s across the UK and her work has undoubtedly saved lives.
Polly Neate For her astounding work achieved in just four years as CEO at Women’s Aid. She took the organisation through instrumental change and made us all remember why Women’s Aid was initiated in the second wave feminist movement of the 1970s. In particular her work on the Child First campaign is both heart wrenching and life changing for murdered children and their surviving parents.
Harriet Wistrich For being the best kind of woman! She has been a lawyer for years. Harriet has changed the lives of the women she represents in court and in equal measure in every case she impacts hugely on the VAW sector. We watch her cases in anticipation as I know what she does centres women who have experienced abuse. She seems to have the Midas touch when it comes to influencing change in the legal system for women.
Rachel Horman For being another amazing lawyer. We like Rachel’s blog posts in particular as she makes legal speak understandable. We often advise survivors to look at her posts and they say it always helps them to understand their experiences.
Sylvia Walby A total guru! Her research into the costs of DVA has undoubtedly made it easier to show the people in power why they should be spending money on supporting victims and survivors. The stark costs of ignoring the issue make our jobs easier when we are trying to get funding for vital services.
Jasvinder Sanghera We love her books. We have been lucky enough to listen to her speak and her work has really inspired us to understand the differences needed and the best organisations to contact when supporting victims of so called honour based violence.
Laura Richards For her work on the DASH risk assessment tool which has undeniably changed the sector for the better, we now all talk to each other about risk of our clients and the DASH tool enables us to have a shared common language for murder prevention for victims and survivors of domestic abuse. The DASH save lives and we have Laura to thank for that.
Marai Larasi For being a beacon of hope. Her work with IMKAAN has been ground breaking and her laser sharp focus on BAME women and the compounding factors of intersectionality are so inspiring. We loved seeing her at the golden globes, she totally deserved to be there and her smile makes us smile.
Dr Finn Mckay For reviving the Reclaim the Night Marches in London which had a ripple effect across the UK cannot be underestimated. She was the inspiration for our RTN marches in Portsmouth and she made us want to march in solidarity with her and all the women across the country.
Roxanne Gay For her work on trauma, women and feminism and whose writing style and championing of women we find truly inspirational.
Julie Bindel For her long term contribution and involvement in the feminist movement of which she has been an active part since 1979. Her global campaigning for women experiencing male abuse in all its forms is inspirational and we love her.
Professor Liz Kelly For dedicating her life’s work to researching the impacts of violence against women and as an activist for over 40 years we think everyone should take time to read her work and learn something.
Pragna Patel – For her work with Southall Black sisters (SBS) which has been monumental in our practice. She and the work of SBS consistently remind us why we need to keep fighting for all black and Asian women living in the UK and focus on the challenges they face when experiencing violence and abuse.
Sarah Green – For being incredibly supportive to us as an organisation. She reached out to us when things got tough and is always on the end of an email. Her publications for EVAW are always brilliant and her voice as an advocate for our sector is truly inspiring.
Lastly but by no means least we want to honour all the victims and survivors we have ever been lucky enough to work with, speak to and support. Working with them and experiencing their voices and stories daily is inspiration enough for us to continue to fight for a world where we end violence against women and girls. They win on the amazing sisters list every time!
All our love and solidarity