Work against gender-based violence
When I was still in my twenties I got involved as a volunteer with a refuge for young Asian women experiencing violence in the home.
That led to becoming the National Children’s Officer for Women’s Aid National Office in England – that’s also what brought me to Bristol.
Since then I’ve helped to change laws nationally and change behaviour locally to make victims safer. I’ve worked in and with schools and youth projects to give young people violence-free lives. I worked with ministers and politicians of all political parties to help bring in the Family Law Act which protects thousands of victims each year.
I’ve worked with many local organisations working with survivors of domestic violence, like the WISH project in Hartcliffe. I am also the author of the nationally acclaimed Respect toolkit for work with male victims of domestic violence and have worked with male perpetrators to end their violence for many years. I am also managing the first UK multi site research into the outcomes of men’s participation in perpetrator programmes.
Preventing violence and protecting survivors
For the last six years I’ve been involved in working with men who use violence to stop them from abusing and also researching what helps this process.
I created the ‘Spiralling’ DVD and toolkit for Safer Bristol which is used in the city and across the country in schools and youth work to help to prevent domestic violence.
Gender equality and the Labour party
I joined the Labour party because I know that political action has helped to bring about the most major changes in women’s lives over the last century, including the right to vote, to equal pay, to employment without discrimination, to maternity rights and to childcare support. The Labour party has led the way in pioneering legislation for gender equality, culminating in the Gender Equality Duty and the Equalities Act in the last government.
I am already contributing my skills and experience to developing ambitious but achievable plans for the Labour party in Bristol, if we are successful in winning a majority on the council in 2013. As women’s officer for my local party I have ensured all Labour party members are well informed about the effects of the cuts on women and children, coordinated lobbying on licenses for sexual entertainment venues and am currently working on a plan to increase affordable high quality childcare for Bristolians.