Yesterday the winners of the Empowering Women Awards met with Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone.
They put forward ideas on how to best support victims of domestic violence, challenge unhelpful attitudes and ultimately end violence against women and girls.
Sadi Khan, Dickie Chester-James and Alec Hopkins were presented with their awards earlier this year for their bravery in dealing with domestic violence in their own lives and working tirelessly to tackle the issue.
The meeting gave the winners an opportunity to share their experiences, discuss the government’s plans and put forward their own ideas.
Minister for Equalities Lynne Featherstone said: ‘I thank the award winners for taking time to share their experiences with me yesterday. As their stories show, with the right support victims can find the courage to leave an abusive relationship behind and build a successful future free of violence.
‘By working closely with victims, campaigners and support services we can help to ensure victims are given the support they need, offenders are brought to justice, and the attitudes and behaviour which foster an acceptance of violence are consistently challenged.
‘Ultimately, through collective action, we can work towards our vision, set out in the Call to End Violence Against Women and Girls - Action Plan published earlier this year, to eradicate violence against women and girls once and for all.’
Woman Survivor of the Year - Sadi Khan
Sadi was given the award for her extreme bravery in dealing with domestic violence and to celebrate her successes since. Sadi suffered in an abusive relationship following her arranged marriage at the age of 19. After 5 years she found the courage to divorce her husband and is now a strong, independent, business woman with a son aged ten, who nominated her for the award.
Child Survivor of the Year - Alec Hopkins
Alec was given the award for his extreme bravery in dealing with domestic violence and to celebrate his successes since. Alec suffered at the hands of an abusive stepfather and fled his family home with his mother and sisters when he was 14. Alec has channeled his traumatic childhood experience into his passion for drama, writing and directing a film on domestic violence to highlight the impact it has on young people.
Marie Claire Campaigner Against Domestic Violence - Dickie Chester-James
Dickie was given this award for her unfaltering commitment and relentless campaigning to tackle domestic violence over the past 20 years.
The Empowering Women Awards (created by Avon and domestic violence charity Women’s Aid and in association with Marie Claire) recognises the courage of women survivors of domestic violence and those who work to support victims. The winners of this year’s awards were announced in July.