International Women’s Day weekend

We enjoyed a busy International Women’s Day weekend. We were at the Southbank Centre’s WOW (Women of the World) festival, and were overcome by the support we received. So, a big thanks to everyone who came to hear us talk, and to all who stopped by our stall. Here’s a round up of what went on…

On Saturday we spoke about our project during our WOW talk ‘My Body Back: Reclaiming sex and physicality after sexual violence’. We were joined by Dr Nina Burrowes, and two members of our management committee – nurse consultant Louise Cadman and founder of Sh! women’s store Ky Hoyle. Everyone contributed brilliantly, and thanks must also go to Helena Kennedy QC who chaired our talk sensitively, but also had plenty of insightful comments to add to the discussion herself.

On Sunday, our founding member Pavan spoke on the ‘Rape: Giving Testimony’ panel. She was clearly heartened and moved by the wonderful audience she spoke to.

Our stall also collected over 1000 ‘Notes of Love’ from anonymous members of the public, to women who have experienced violence. Passers by were asked to write a short message on a post-it note, to be displayed in The Havens and Rape Crisis centres across London. Together, the notes will form a display at the front of centres. As women leave the centres, they will be able to choose a note from an anonymous stranger and keep it with them as a source of support. The response from the public was amazing. The messages were full of warmth, encouragement and strength – nothing less than women deserve – but they will make a huge difference. They will be uploaded to our gallery shortly.

This is the project’s first International Women’s Day, so a big thank you to Jude Kelly and the rest of the WOW team for making it incredible.