Passionate About... Ending Domestic Violence
I’m passionate about raising awareness for domestic abuse as I’m in the unfortunate position to have had first-hand experience! This was a long time ago but has had a devastating impact on my life. Like countless women I have spoken to since, it was the mental abuse rather than the physical violence which proved to be the toughest to recover from. I try to never miss an opportunity to talk about my personal experiences and to raise awareness for this subject, which is often clothed in secrecy and shame.
I have been lucky enough to work with some fabulous charities and organisations, including Refuge which is the UK’s largest single provider of specialist domestic abuse services. I have given speeches and presentations at police conferences, council meetings and at gala fundraising events.
A personal highlight was giving a keynote speech at the House of Commons, alongside Reese Witherspoon.
Media and Documentary Film
I have enjoyed working with several of the national newspapers in order to tell my story and shine a light on the crime of domestic abuse. In 2012 I produced and presented a documentary called Taking Lives, a liability for suicide. This can be seen in the video below. It highlights the astonishing and tragic number of women who take their own lives as a direct result of their partners’ abuse. We specifically follow a man called Nav Jagpal as he tries to make sense of his sister’s death by suicide. Gurda took her own life after enduring years of mental and physical abuse at the hands of her husband. Although she had kept diaries and evidence of her torment, Gurda’s husband could not be prosecuted for her death.
Jo Brand and myself. Jo contributed to the film (In her capacity as a former psychiatric nurse) and a lovelier lady you could never wish to meet!
Gurda (pictured below) took her own life after enduring years of mental and physical abuse at the hands of her husband.