This week (5th – 11th February) is Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week – the UK’s national week to raise awareness of sexual abuse and violence and to provide an opportunity for any organisation or individual to engage in dialogue.

Globally, an estimated 736 million women — almost one in three — have been subjected to physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or both at least once in their life. There are many voices that often go unheard or with little recognition – we heard just recently that crimes against women are “simply being ignored” as a key crime statistic often quoted by ministers does not include instances of rape or other sexual offences. This week is an opportunity for anyone that wants to use their voice to join a conversation with thousands of others. Together we can amplify the voices that should be heard, we can spotlight support services and we can engage those outside the women’s sector, in the discussion.

At Greenham, many women that lived there were survivors of sexual abuse and sexual violence. They came to escape it. The camps provided women-only spaces where women felt supported and safe from all forms of violence. Here are some quotes from Greenham Women:

“Women, including some that may not have been particularly political, or there because of the weapons, were there because they just felt it was safe.” Judith Baron

“We were all running away from something. And it tended to be male. We were all searching for ourselves. I really believe that, I think we all had a real real need. And um, a lot of that need was fulfilled at Greenham.” Tamsin Clayton

“A lot of women for various reasons wouldn’t be able to sign on – especially if they were under age or escaping domestic violence. Um, and so we had camp dole – we were able to actually support women financially.” Jill Raymond

You can read more about Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week here.