The achievements of some of the Britain’s most inspirational women were honoured at the Avon and Women’s Aid Empowering Women Awards this week.
Supporters at the ceremony, which recognises the bravery and achievements of women survivors of domestic violence and those who work to support those effected by abuse, included Sarah Brown, Alesha Dixon and Charlie Webster, who all presented awards to this year’s winners.
Nicola Harwin, chief executive of Women’s Aid, said: ‘One in four women suffers from domestic abuse during her lifetime and two women are killed each week by a violent current or former partner. Women’s Aid and Avon are proud that for the second year these awards are making sure that the experiences of survivors and those who help them are brought into the spotlight so that those who are suffering in silence right now can find a way out.’
Avon and Women’s Aid Empowering Women Award Winners
|Child Survivor of the Year
Presented to Alec Hopkins by Nicola Mendelsohn, chair of the Women’s Aid Corporate Development Board, and judge Alesha Dixon.
Alec grew up in refuges after fleeing his family home with his mother and sisters, who all suffered physical, mental and emotional abuse at the hands of his step-father. Channeling his traumatic childhood experience into his passion for drama, Alec has since written and directed a film on domestic violence to highlight the impact it has on young people.
|Woman Survivor of the Year
Presented to Sadi Khan by Women’s Aid patron Sarah Brown and Nicola Harwin, chief executive of Women’s Aid.
At just 19 years old, Sadi, a British born Kashmiri, was subject to an arranged marriage. She suffered psychological and physical abuse for five years until she finally found the courage to divorce her husband. Sadi is now a strong, independent, business woman with a daughter aged ten, who nominated her for this award.
|Marie Claire Campaigner Against Domestic Violence
Presented to Dickie Chester-James by Fionna Mactaggart, MP and editor of Marie Claire magazine Trish Halpin.
A domestic violence survivor and current chief executive of Staffordshire’s Women’s Aid, Dickie has shown unfaltering commitment and relentless campaigning for the cause over the past 20 years. Her dedication has seen her help thousands of women in the Staffordshire area.
|Grass Roots Hero
Presented to Val Corbett by Avon’s National Sales Director, Angela Tucker, and actress Fay Ripley.
Inspired by her own experience of domestic violence, Val founded Dacorum Women’s Aid in 1975 – the first refuge for women and children fleeing from abuse and domestic violence. Val has worked tirelessly, completely unpaid, for over 36 years to help break down barriers around domestic abuse in her local community so that fewer women and children suffer.