CEO Blog: Thoughts on an extremely difficult week

Posted on March, 2022

Jo Gough, CEO looks back on what has been an extremely difficult week for women in the UK and across the globe.

Musing on the past week it could feel impossible to imagine a time where women and children live free from abuse and violence.

This really was a particularly difficult week:

Sabita Thunwani was found dead in her halls of residence in Clerkenwell. A 22-year-old male, known to her, has appeared in court in connection with her death. Sabita will not graduate and will not live the life she had before her.

We heard that two MET Police officers strip searched a black child - #ChildQ – in her school without parental involvement. The intersection of racism and sexism in this case demonstrates that the institutions we rely on to protect and safeguard us are deeply steeped in practices that harm black girls.

The video of young Afghan girls crying as they were being turned away from school was heart-breaking. Every day they stay away from school their future is harmed.

International charities and Feminist activists are warning of gangs preying on women and children refugees at the borders of Ukraine for slavery and sex trafficking.

I admit I was feeling a little overwhelmed by the extent and impact of violence against women and girls. It is easy to feel helpless in the face of so much injustice.

Then, just as all felt lost, I went into the office and chatted to staff and volunteers. As they told me of their week, the gloom lifted. Though the work is not easy, we are definitely making a difference.

This week RISE helped a woman and her child to stay safe through the Family Courts, we helped survivors find safe places to stay and provided children with therapeutic help to recover. A beautiful mural is being planned for one of our buildings and our supporters raised twenty-three thousand pounds for our work.

Next week, and every week, we will do so much more.

In the grand scheme of things, these are small victories and won’t make headlines, but to everyone here, they matter a great deal.

RISE believes in a world where all women and girls are free from abuse and violence. The fight for change is ongoing and we will keep chipping away at the individual injustices and will keep campaigning for structural, systemic change.

We invite anyone with the same sense of frustration to join us. We can’t promise that change will be swift, but we do know that it will come faster if we all work together.

If you are asking yourself ‘What can I do?’ ‘How can I help?’ ‘Can I do more?’

Become an Ask Me Ambassador >

Become a Community Researcher >

Sign up for our Community Connector Programme >

Volunteer with us >

Donate >

Specialist services like RISE wouldn’t exist without the passion, dedication and expertise of women in our community.

Please join us - it’s not an easy journey, but I promise it will be worth it.

If you need help or want to talk to somebody about whether what you’re experiencing is domestic abuse, call our helpline on 01273 622822 or fill out an online self-referral form.

If you are in immediate danger always call 999.


About RISE

Our vision is: ‘Freedom from Abuse and Violence’

RISE stands for Refuge, Information, Support and Education.

RISE is a feminist, women-led and centred domestic violence and abuse charity that has worked for 27 years to end all forms of violence and abuse against women, their families and those identifying as LGBT+.

RISE offers strength-based, trauma-informed services and is committed to providing accessible, fair, and safe services to survivors of violence and abuse, including women of all ages, children, young people, Trans and Non-binary people, Lesbians and Bisexual women, Gay and Bisexual men, Black and minoritised women, women with religious affiliations or none, Disabled women and other minoritised women.