Mar
1
9:30 AM09:30

Support Sally Challen

On the 1st March a judge at the Criminal Appeal Court will decide whether Sally Challen can appeal her conviction for the murder of her abusive husband, for which she is currently serving a minimum term of 18 years in prison.

Sally killed Richard in 2010 after years of being controlled and humiliated by him. At the time of her conviction, ‘coercive control’ was not a crime in England and Wales, only becoming recognised in law as a form of domestic abuse in 2015. Coercive control is a way of understanding domestic violence which foregrounds the psychological abuse and can involve manipulation, degradation, gaslighting (using mind games to make the other person doubt their sanity) and generally monitoring and controlling the person’s day-to-day life such as their friends, activities and clothing. This often leads to the abused becoming isolated and dependent on the abuser. It was dramatised very well in Helen’s storyline in Radio 4’s The Archer’s back in 2016.

Sally was only 16 when she met 22 year old Richard. At first he was charming but gradually the abuse began. He bullied and belittled her, controlled their money and who she was friends with, not allowing her to socialise without him. But, whilst he forced strict restrictions on her behavior, he himself, would flaunt his money, have numerous affairs and visit brothels. If she challenged him, he would turn it back on her and make her feel she was going mad.  Although Sally did manage at one point to leave Richard, even starting divorce proceedings, she was so emotionally dependent on him that she soon returned, even signing a ‘post nuptial’ agreement he drew up that denied her full financial entitlement in the divorce and forbade her from interrupting him or speaking to strangers.

It was not long after this reunion, that Richard the offence took place.  Sally , so utterly dependent on Richard, wanted to believe that they could be together, but his behaviour towards her was increasingly humiliating.  The final straw was when he sent Sally out in the rain to get his lunch so that he could phone a woman he had been planning to meet from a dating agency. Sally returned suspicious and challenged him, he commanded her not to question him and she struck him repeatedly with a hammer.

Her defence at trial was diminished responsibility, the legal team downplayed the abusive behavior of her husband, Sally was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum tariff of 22 years, reduced to 18 at appeal. Despite the death of their father, Sally’s two sons and all those who knew Sally and Richard well have supported her recognizing that she was completely controlled by Richard. 

In 2017, Justice for Women submitted new grounds of appeal to the Criminal Appeal court highlighting new psychiatric evidence and an expert report showing how coercive control provides a better framework for understanding Sally’s ultimate response in the context of a history of provocation.  Unfortunately, permission to appeal was refused by a judge who read only some papers.  Sally’s  last chance is a renewed oral application for appeal before three court of appeal judges. If this application is unsuccessful, Sally who is now 63, will have to spend at least another 12 years in prison.

Please come down to the Royal Courts of Justice, Strand at 9.30am on 1st March to show the Court you support Sally being given the chance to appeal her conviction.

 

 

 

View Event →
March with us:
Nov
25
to Nov 26

March with us:

March with us at Reclaim the Night: A March to End Violence Against Women

25 years ago Justice for Women campaigned with others, to free Sara Thornton, Kiranjit Ahluwalia and Amelia Rossiter, three women who had been convicted of murder whilst resisting male violence. All three successfully appealed their murder convictions and their cases resulted in changes to the law on provocation and a greater awareness of domestic violence. Since then, Justice for women have supported many more significant cases at the Court of Appeal including that of Emma Humphreys and most recently Stacey Hyde. However, women who have been subject to male violence continue to be convicted or murder today. 

Despite earlier cases contributing to changes in the law, including recognition of the cumulative provocation of domestic violence, and despite a reform of the law in 2009, with the defence of ‘loss of control’ replacing that of ‘provocation’, women who have fought back out of fear and desperation, are still being unjustly convicted of the murder of their abusers. 

We will be marching at London's Reclaim the Night, marking the annual United Nations Day to End Violence Against Women. Join us to show support for Sally Challen, Farieissia Martin and Emma-Jayne Magson

Email justiceforwomencampaigns@gmail.com (or go to eventbrite) to register to march with Justice for Women, and to be informed of our meeting point.

March will begin at Whitehall Place, SW1 at 6.00 pm

This women-only march will end with a mixed rally at the Camden Centre in Euston. The route will be publicised closer to the event.

Speakers include:
• Stella Creasey MP
• Not Buying it Campaign
• Harriet Wistrich of Justice for Women

Some further information from Reclaim the Night organisers:

Reclaim The Night is a women-only march. Girls of all ages and boys aged under 12 are welcome to attend.

All women are welcome at Reclaim the Night, including: women of all colours and cultures, of all religions or none, women of any age, disabled and non-disabled women, heterosexual women, lesbians, trans women, bisexual women, refugee and asylum-seeking women and any other women you can think of! We would love to see you all there. Bring along your mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, nieces, and daughters.

Your safety

Please be aware that due to reductions in police funding we cannot guarantee that there will be a police presence at Reclaim The Night 2017, although we will be seeking additional security at the event. All participants take part at their own risk. We aim to undertake the march at a slow enough pace to ensure that everyone can keep up, and that gaps do not open up. Women with disabilities or mobility problems (and their friends) are welcome to walk immediately behind the lead banner to help set the pace. Please follow any instructions given by our stewards (or the police, should they be there). Report any safety concerns to the nearest steward (or police).

Remember to bring water, a snack, several layers of clothes for warmth and waterproofs. Check the weather report before you leave. Look out for each other. But finally enjoy the march!

View Event →
25 years on: What has changed for women who kill their violent partners?
Oct
25
6:00 PM18:00

25 years on: What has changed for women who kill their violent partners?

25 years ago Justice for Women campaigned with others to free Sara Thornton, Kiranjit Ahluwalia and Amelia Rossiter, three women had been convicted of murder whilst resisting male violence. All three successfully appealed their murder convictions and their cases resulted in changes to the law on provocation and a greater awareness of domestic violence. Since then, Justice for Women have supported many more significant cases at the Court of Appeal including that of Emma Humphreys and most recently Stacey Hyde.

Despite earlier cases contributing to changes in the law, including recognition of the cumulative provocation of domestic violence, and despite a reform of the law in 2009, with the defence of ‘loss of control’ replacing that of ‘provocation’, women who have fought back out of fear and desperation, are still being unjustly convicted of the murder of their abusers. 

Join us as this discussion which will launch our new campaign to free Sally Challen, Farieissia Martin and Emma-Jayne Magson. Speakers will include:

Family members and lawyers for the three new cases 

Jess Phillips - Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley

Harriet Wistrich - Justice for Women co-founder and lawyer 

Stacey Hyde - who was convicted of the murder, aged 17, and with the help of Justice for Women acquitted at retrial. 

Dr Hannana Siddiqui – former Southall Black Sisters campaigner and award winning freelance policy & research consultant

Chaired by Helena Kennedy QC

With an introduction by Mark Stephens CBE, solicitor at Howard Kennedy.

We will also be screening extracts from two new short films about campaigning for justice and Stacey Hyde's campaign

Speeches and screening 6pm-8pm, followed by drinks and snacks (kindly provided by Howard Kennedy LLP). 

This event is free, but space is limited so please register if you would like to attend.

View Event →
Oct
11
6:30 PM18:30

Pimping of Prostitution: Abolishing the Sex Work Myth

Join us at this book launch and panel discussion on the truth about the sex trade. 

Julie Bindel, author of The Pimping of Prostitution, will outline the key themes of her book and share details of her extraordinary journey travelling the world to uncover the truth about the sex trade. Julie will be joined in a panel discussion with sex trade survivors from the UK, Australia and USA/Canada who will be sharing their personal knowledge and experience about the sex trade.

The speakers will be discussing the most effective methods to abolish the system of prostitution. 

Panel will include: Sex trade survivors Bridget Perrier, Indigenous Canadian abolitionist; Sabrinna Valisce, former 'sex worker's rights' campaigner, from Australia/New Zealand; and Ne'Cole Daniels, Founder of Survivors on the Move. Chaired by the broadcaster and cultural commentator Samira Ahmed. 

The cost of this event is £7.50 (which will pay towards the venue and refreshments). Wine, soft drinks and snacks are included in the cost of your ticket.

Blackwell's will be selling Julie's book as a special launch discount of 40% off the RRP.

6pm Doors open. Registration and refreshments

6.30pm sharp: Julie Bindel launches 'The Pimping of Prostitution'. Followed by panel discussion and questions from the audience.

8.30pm, drinks, snacks and networking.

 

All welcome, but please note that this event is NOT a debate about whether or not prostitution is harmful. Whatever your view, please be respectful of the speakers. If you heckle or attempt to disrupt the event you will be asked to leave. 

The Pimping of Prostitution: Abolishing the Sex Work Myth
Palgrave Macmillan
28th September 2017
£22.50 | Softcover | 978-1-137-55889-3

View Event →
Oct
10
6:30 PM18:30

Prostitution Legislation: Interrogating legal models

Come to a talk on how the law can shape and impact prostitution. 

The debate about which legal and policy approaches work best to curb the problems inherent to the sex trade, including the increase in trafficking, has been raging for decades in the UK. On one side of the debate, ‘sex workers rights’ groups, supported by international human rights lobbies including Amnesty International, have advocated for the so-called ‘New Zealand’ model which provides for the full decriminalisation of all operational aspects of prostitution (including pimping, brothel keeping and all third party exploitation). However, feminists and others argue that such a model only increases the harm caused to those on the frontline and a growing movement of sex trade survivors have joined with others to advocate the 'Nordic model'. This is a legal framework by which sex buyers are criminalised, those selling sex are decriminalised and offered exit strategies, and the sex trade is viewed as a barrier to equality between men and women. 

Which approach is best for the women (and men) in the sex trade, and for wider society? Come to an event at Matrix Chambers, at which Julie Bindel, journalist and feminist campaigner, will launch her new book, 'The Pimping of Prostitution: Abolishing the Sex Work Myth' (Palgrave McMilan, 2017), and hear from Julie, who traveled 164,000 miles, conducting 250 interviews in 40 countries, cities, and states to research the topic. 

Speakers include sex trade survivors Sabrinna Valisce, New Zealand/Australia, Bridget Perrier, Canada, and Ne'Cole Daniels, US, and legal experts including Karon Monaghan QC of Matrix Chambers.

Admission is free but spaces are limited so please register. Refreshments will be served. Julie's book will be available to purchase at the event.

View Event →