Friday, 3 August 2018

My body is a woman's body. This is how I know.

There isn't an easy way to begin this.

Some of you women have been aware of this for a while now. Thanks and love to all of you who have offered love and support to me. You are amazing and fabulous women.

So here goes....the science and the hard bit.

I have cancer. The doctors are reasonably sure it is ovarian. I'm still waiting for a full diagnosis after a biopsy to stage the cancer and identify the primary site. It has spread. There are metastases on my liver and omentum. There is a tumour surrounding my whole uterus. There is another mass behind my bowel, ceacum and possibly in my appendix. It's a party of cancer in here. I only went to the doctors with a tummy ache and a bit of swelling and I'd put on a few pounds for no reason. But here I am. 6 weeks later I have no idea what sort of future awaits me.

My daughter is numb. Sidekick is devastated.

When I got the diagnosis - as elusive, unfathomable and uncertain as it is at this point - Sidekick asked what I wanted to do.

I had just the one answer. "Let's get out on the bikes. I'll ride for a murdered woman. Let's do something positive." He nodded. So I did.

Here is the picture of that. Inside me is cancer ... on the outside I am a woman honouring the life of another woman.

The first frightens me. The second terrifies me. Men are still killing women at an average rate of 2 a week in the UK. After today I will have ridden for 84 women murdered by intimate partners or family members in 2017 - (this does include 3 women not murdered in that time frame but I rode for them at the request of their friends/family).

Women have volunteered to continue the rides for me. That is very kind. I don't want that though. I need a reason to keep focused. Honouring women on my bike is what I do. I intend to do it for as long as I can. If I have to stop it will feel like I failed the women. I can do this. I can get through this. I may not be riding as far or as fast. I may need to take a break for surgery and chemo. But I will be back on my bike and I hope you will support each ride by continuing to retweet and spread the love of the lives of these women and their terrible stories. If you want to help ... donate to the fund and help other women get free before they are added to these shameful lists.

What I still have is a love of life. I love the countryside. I love the sky. I love my daughter. I love my beautiful, kind, gentle, funny sidekick. He put his hand on my back as I rode the other day to push me up the hill. He is my lead out man. I just have to keep pedalling. The night before last he bought some chairs to take me to sit on a hill I love. He has called it a mobile pub and will seek out the best views to take me to. With a glass of wine of course. He will see me through this. And if I don't come through it he will make sure he helps my daughter onwards towards the glorious woman I know she will become. With or without me. They will love each other even if I'm not there.

Please don't come to tell me that a man can be a woman. If I was a man who simply said I was a woman because I feel that way.....I wouldn't be facing death. The cancer is in the very part of my body that only a woman has. I can't identify out of this disease. Being a woman has been and will continue to be a magical and wonderful thing.

I am a woman. This is a woman's body. It has not failed me. It gave me a beautiful girl. It has taken me through abuse and delivered me to the door of sisters who healed me and continue to inspire me. It brought me towards the arms of the man I love. A man who loves me quite beautifully in return. Now why would I not love such a body?

And lastly a poem.... Life doesn't frighten me.......

Be fearless my sisters. Love to you all. Let's keep fighting and let's keep loving.



Saturday, 3 March 2018

When girls can't hear feminist voices....

I raised my girl single-handedly. Even when her father was “around”, I still raised my girl alone. We all three know that.
She, like many girls, declares that she is not and will never be a feminist. Every time she says it I wait quietly for the “but”.

“But ...” she tells me... she admires my work. She knows all the things I say about sexual and domestic violence are true. She knows of the statistical data and she knows the bodies of dead women murdered by men they knew are mounting up behind the two of us. She respects that I ride my bike to raise money for refuges with Ride For Murdered Women, and she knows I volunteer my time elsewhere.

Yet she cannot and will not say she is a feminist.

So why? Why is it that young girls, even those raised by feminists, are afraid to name themselves feminist? Loudly. Openly.

When I ask her this she says that some feminist action is “stupid”. I ask for examples and she tells me of a feminist demand that traffic lights sometimes feature a female figure crossing instead of a male. It’s a fuss over nothing she tells me and makes feminists look silly. I consider myself a feminist. I never even saw this action. "Oh no", she tells me. "I'm proud of the stuff you do. That's real. It's just the other feminist stuff that puts girls off."

Misogynist males distribute these examples in the hope that it invalidates objection to more insidious forms of oppression of our sex class. Examples of the actual extent of male violence against women and girls, just in the UK, include the 85,000 male on female rapes a year. Or the fact that one in four women will experience intimate partner abuse. Or that two women a week are murdered by men in the UK. Or that between 2009-2015 936 women were killed by men and 598 of those women were killed by a current or former intimate partner and a further 75 by their sons. Or that more than a quarter of rape is “no crimed” by police. There are no alternative statistics that will suggest a parity in these figures. None. 
Yet other women, frequently young, are quick to leap in with "but women are violent too" or "women kill men" or "men are victims of domestic violence and have less help when they are!" In 2017 I rode my bike for 93 women who were murdered in 2016 by men they knew. There were 5 men murdered by current or former partners who were women. In 2 of those cases there was clear evidence that the woman had endured prior and prolonged domestic violence from the male who died. 
Why do women and girls jump in so quickly with this challenge to any discussion of domestic violence led by feminist women in the sector? One of the reasons is that if you google anything about the topic you will find male voices. Men who are in power sometimes abuse that power to drown out the voices of women. Literally. Phillip Davies MP uses his position to silence women by deliberately preventing them from speaking during important debates in the House of Commons. He uses the Parliamentary debate system to interrupt and then keeps talking, not allowing a woman to interject,  until a debate is timed out and no woman can speak further or move the motion to a vote.

The World Health Organisation estimates that there are 3 million girls at risk of female genital mutilation every year. FGM 

Most are are "cut" before they are 15 years old. To be cut involves a some of the following:
1. Clitoridectomy - : partial or total removal of the clitoris
2. Excision : partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora,, with or without the incision of the labia majora.
3. Infibulation : the narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting and repositioning the inner, or outer, labia, with or without removal of the clitoris.
4. Other; all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, e.g. pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterising the genital area. 

(Hibo Wardere, Cut -2016)

Do our young women hear about this? No. It is often considered to be too graphic and too distressing to speak to girls of the reality of how they are targeted because of their biological sex organs. Men don't talk about this unless it is to demonise and "other" men from minority ethnic backgrounds. Farage was "keen on" discussing FGM. Men often care about feminist issues when they can use it to advance their own power base. Tommy Robinson formerly of the EDL is "keen on" rape. He enjoys finding rape cases where the perpetrators have a specific ethnicity. He is quite prepared to sacrifice the protected anonymity of female rape victims to do so as he did this week when appealing for anyone on Twitter to identify a woman and "get in touch". This backfired when the woman herself contacted the press to say that her attackers had been white. Men like these care nothing for women. 

Male voices, misogynist voices, are all over the internet with views for those young women to find instead of the voices of women working in the fields of sexual and domestic violence. Those male views are not backed by the data I link to above. Or any alternative data that is credible, peer-reviewed or statistically robust. But... young women are used to listening to male voices tell them things. They are not used to saying... "hang on a sec... is that credible research from a peer-reviewed source?" 

Demonising feminism and preventing women from accessing it is not new but it has accelerated quickly in some sinister corners of society. One culprit is the right wing “manosphere” often to be found thrusting itself loudly around the internet. Those misogynist views are amplified by other male voices in the lives of our daughters and are dragging them back into the shadows of a pre-feminist past. The whispers in their ears are the same as they have ever been. “No boy likes a feminist. You will never have a boyfriend. Feminists are ugly. Hairy. Lesbian. Man-hating. Stupid.” It is basic, but effective. It’s message is simple ... “you will never successfully oppose our oppression of you so shut up and sit down”. Girls are sitting quietly all over the UK right now.

Or they are saying they are feminists and therefore need access to feminist space and debate or it is "sexist". Girls and women acquiesce. Girls and women defend the right of males to be there because they are very used to yielding way to demanding males in their physical space. They have been socialised to do so by the patriarchal system in which they were born. Girls are therefore frequently unable to discuss issues pertinent solely to their sexed bodies because it is not "inclusive". More importantly, even the most confident young girl might struggle to vocalise her experience of difficult menstruation or worries about contraception or abortion in front of boys. Girls and women are often not afforded the same time in debates about their rights as they would be in women's space that was free of males. 

And who can whisper back for and at our girls that they are being manipulated and duped and cheated out of the women's movement they deserve? Not feminists. Because feminists are locked in fierce and bloody battle elsewhere about how to define what a woman is and what her rights should be. Respected feminist voices are being suffocated and their extensive and tireless work against male violence is being dismissed. Hands are being placed over screaming mouths. This is The Handmaid's Tale. Not in a fictional dystopian future.This is now. 

Feminist women are being erased online and elsewhere. The left wing media previously, and ostensibly still, supportive of feminist aims are simultaneously demonising the radical feminist fight to retain rights for women that are enshrined in law. Gaby Hinsliff’s article, in The Guardian on Friday 9th February, Hinsliff - 9th February. resulted in Victoria Smith, a well-respected gender-critical, feminist journalist, leaving Twitter because Hinsliff was unable to accept criticism of her article. Feminist women are being removed from the Labour Party via suspensions and possible expulsions while other women are being placed on a “transphobic hit list” led, in part, by the trans gender self-identified woman Lily Madigan. Labour Party Hit List. Lily Madigan allegedly took part in an extended bullying campaign to evict lifelong Labour activist Anne Ruzylo from her role as Women's Officer. Madigan Bullies Ruzylo Lily meanwhile has become the first trans-gender women's officer. Madigan now has a prominent voice in declaring which women are and are not feminist. I asked Madigan last weekend to declare whether I was considered a feminist. I was blocked for asking. Just for asking. 

Feminists are being refused access to court hearings which directly affect them as happened recently in the hearing of the trans activist who attacked humanist Maria McLachlan. Maria was attending a debate on self-identification. Attack - video embedded. Seasoned feminists like Linda Bellos and Julie Bindel are routinely no-platformed. These are women who have spent the majority of their lives working in the field of women's rights. This week Bristol University Students voted to "ban" speakers they deemed as "transphobic" after a debate in Bristol by 'A Woman's Place UK'. These were women who simply wished to debate the issue of gender self-identification and how it might affect women and girls and their safety. They are not women seeking to offend or impose their view. Simply to widen a vital debate. Debate is a crucial part of the learning process of University students.  The "party for women" - Women's Equality Party - dismissed Dr Heather Brunskell-Evans, a research fellow at King's College London, and their spokesperson because she took part in a debate on gender self-identity featured on the BBc's 'Moral Maze'. Dr Brunskell-Evans had raised similar concerns about the effect on children of self-identification and associated medical interventions. She was therefore summarily silenced. 

Females who speak about their knowledge of their own bodies and the rights they have to protect those bodies are being told to shut up and shut up fast. They are being excluded from feminist societies. They are being disciplined in their jobs and removed from their own political parties. Their fingers hover above keyboards paralysed at the thought that if they speak/type or even think about their biological bodies and ideological/philosophical/feminist beliefs they will suffer the physical and financial consequences. Women running refuges are terrified that if they voice concerns about issues of women's space proposed amendments to the Gender Identity Act their funding may be affected. Women helping women are being affected by this silencing most of all it seems. Women who desperately need help will end up dead as the voices of women who established those services, radical feminist women, are smothered and extinguished. 

Men’s voices meanwhile remain ungagged. Men are using those voices loudly and silencing feminist women with the acronym TERF. This was not a term ever utilised by radical feminist women (though some have tried to reclaim the insult by using it to refer to themselves - much in the way feminist women have previously tried to reclaim insulting terms for her genitalia to lessen the sting of the insult). This is a term invented to insult and undermine feminist women who object to the redefining of their bodies, their protected safe spaces and their legal protections. It is name-calling and we must not afford it any greater respect than the technique of an abuser. It is no longer used as an acronym. Merely uttering the word demonises a woman. It points her out as a "bad" woman and a bigot. Other women and other men can then vilify that woman. They can harass her from her job and her political party and all other areas of her life that they think she "deserves" to be expunged from - solely for wishing to debate how legal change may affect her rights. Only women sanctioned by males, or concurring with the views of dominant males may openly express feminist views now. Women are very afraid and rightly so. If they are targeted for their views about their own oppression and their own bodies they may lose their homes, jobs, children. This is a time as fearful for women as any in our history. 

Saying that female biology is real and immutable and that women are oppressed because of their sexed body is currently a revolutionary action that many women are too fearful to take part in. It is costly. 

One day our girls will look for feminist voices. They will find only the voices of men.

Monday, 8 January 2018

Instead of #MeToo on domestic abuse.. how about ...#MeLast.

There is a woman just now meeting a man. He has greeted her with a smile. He is wearing really nice clothes and has clean shoes on. He smells nice. He stood up to greet her when she came in and has pulled out her chair for her to sit. She has her back to the room. Of course. He has offered to buy her a drink. He is making her laugh. He is telling her lovely stories of his family and friends. He’s telling her funny stories from work. He’s quite handsome... in a way. Or, maybe, very handsome, in lots of ways. Cheeky. Clever. Spontaneous. Charming. Different. Something. Just something she hasn’t seen before and he’s making her feel good. Really good. Not like the man she was with before who cheated on her. Or dumped her quite hard. Or abused her. There’s another thing about this man though.

He’s your abusive ex. He’s my abusive ex. He’s somebody’s abusive ex. 

He might kill her.

We know too much about these men. Their very names make us shudder. We escaped with varying degrees of mental health and our bodies more or less intact. We have fixed both. More or less. We are strong again. We take deep breaths every day and look to the sky whether we believe in a higher power or we don’t. I don’t. We know the universe gifted us life somehow. Or we know other women did. I do. We are so very grateful. We laugh at the freedom. We never, ever, take it for granted.

We know that man is evil right though to his bones. And in his bones. And his bones are so filthy he will contaminate the earth when he is dead.

But how can we tell her?

Every, yes every, abused woman has this thought.... “He will do this to someone else! I can’t let that happen. Can I?” We wonder how we can stop him. We care for all those future women who will be called hideous names; undermined; called bad mothers; accused of infidelity; thrown against a wall; perhaps punched in the face. Raped. Degraded. Humiliated. Strangled. Beaten. Turned into a version of their former selves that they don’t recognise. Maybe dead. Too often dead. Twice a week at least.

Some of the things that happened to us... we know he will do to “her”. The next woman. Maybe worse things. Probably....worse things.

Very few women, who have been free of an abuser for a while, hate the “new woman”. We pity her. Not in a patronising way. Some of us worry deeply about her. We don’t know her. Or sometimes we do. We wish we could help her to know what is coming and get away from him fast.

So, ideally, what happens next in the scenario above is this. A woman walks into that bar. She apologises in advance to the woman sitting with him and asks her to move aside. She overturns the table to reach for this charming man. She grabs him by the collar, shrugs him upwards with just a finger and holds him high in the air above her head like a doll. She doesn't hurt him. This isn't about that. She lifts up her shirt as she spins him around above her head for kicks. She shouts to the entire bar.... “This man abused me for years. He made my life hell. See? Here is the scar where he cut me. Here is the melted flesh where he burned me with my hair straighteners. My children went hungry when this man cut off our maintenance. They went to school with holes in their shoes. See how beautiful his shoes are. Look at my hair. Here! Come closer. This chunk missing? This man ripped it out of my head with the skin attached. The droop of my eye here. Can you see it? This man bludgeoned me with an iron. This pain and anger behind my eyes? This man. This man here. His name is.....”

But no woman does this. We cannot tell other women. We are not superwomen either. We can’t confront our abusers. We can’t hold them over our heads like macabre abusive dolls. We can’t approach the other woman. She won’t listen. He might hurt us.  He might hurt us very badly. It might cause him to hurt her too. We know this and so we sigh at the thought of how powerless we are to stop her from falling.

Because she will not walk away if a previous woman he was with says what he did to her first.  She will not believe. She will not be able to listen. He is too strongly in her head already.

Who will she listen to then?

Government/the Police/legal recording sytems.  Those systems should protect women. They currently fail in this area. Women need an easily accessible website that any woman can use to internet search for the murdering, abusive men of this world. One that tells you he previously ripped a woman’s hair out. That he threw her out of a window. That he caused a woman to hang herself. One that names him with a picture and says all the things he did to all the women he did it to. A list of his crimes and convictions. We need early warning systems for women. We need someone who can legally do this to tell us. It is the duty of those in power to tell us before we are murdered because they don’t.

Theodore Johnson went to jail for 26 years last week. He has killed 3 of his former partners. He will be out in 13 years. Will he kill again? Will his next woman know he has killed before?

His last victim Angela Best did not know this. She had no way of knowing that before he throttled and beat her to death he had already thrown his first wife off a balcony to her death. Or that he murdered his next partner by strangling her. The two previous victims of Theodore Johnson were called Yvonne. Only the name Angela breaks his pattern. All 3 are women. All 3 are murdered. How many more women will he be able to murder? How many more women named Yvonne? Or Angela? Or will someone tell the next woman? What will her name be if women aren’t warned?

And more than that I wonder.... how do women who never told the police tell other women? How do women who did not take their man to prosecution tell other women? That is something radical feminists might ponder. Because he might not have murdered before ...... but he could indeed be working his way up to that. 

If government won’t sort this. How will we sort it?

The hashtag might not be #MeToo but #MeLast

JH x

Monday, 11 December 2017

Sexual Assault Is All Over Now. Still all over.

A friend....a man....well-intentioned and very kind....told me last week that he was hopeful. Weinstein’s abuse and unmasking really might change everything. There always has to be a turning point. It seems like something is happening. This is hopeful. He pointed me to the Time front cover.

Forgive me. I held my head to one side in that way we have. You know the way. The one that says “I want to punch you in the neck for that naive comment that makes me want to scream but I like you so I will breathe hard while not punching you and then my head will sag over with the effort”.

Eva’s piece said that our hope – as women - comes and goes every year. I thought... you, as a man, can hope. Because having that hope dashed every year simply means the world isn’t going to be as moral or kind to women as you would like. But it won’t mean that the world will remain constantly hostile to you as a sex class. It won’t mean that you are despairing as to how things will ever change. I wondered if I was being a bit.... well.... me. Hard. Pessimistic about the patriarchy. Angry.

Then came Saturday night.

I never go out to busy bars in the centre of town. Ever. I rarely go out late around men. I tend to avoid bars where a certain type of man will be drunk, and especially, drunk late at night. I class a problem time to be anywhere past 9pm. Most men will not understand this. Some women will.

Saturday night I had promised to go and see a couple of male friends sing at a bar. I took along a female friend. It was only 8pm. I figured we would be ok. It isn’t a swanky, trendy bar. Quite old and well-established. Surely anywhere with live music by a hoard of gay blokes would be ok? Surely?

But this is Christmas. Everything I ordinarily fear about this is worse at Christmas. It should be better. But it isn’t. You can’t put a bauble or fairy lights on a sexually risky situation. 

As we entered it became clear that personal boundaries were being eroded by alcohol. People pushed. You pushed back or fell. I made my way to the bar and my friend indicated she would wait at a distance.  A man at the bar looked me up and down and then “made way” for me. Except with that look. The one that says .... you can cram in here but you have to do it by rubbing past my body. Again.... women will know that look.

I held my arm out to invite him to step out of the way first. He did but suddenly “fell” into me. I massively eye rolled and waited for him to move on. No real harm done. I don’t get automatically pissed off at every time someone touches me in a bar. No matter what the Twitter Trolls might say.

I waited to be served. It was very busy. I knew it would take a while. Suddenly someone tapped me on the shoulder. I expected it was one of my friends. I turned. It was a sea of male faces. None of whom I knew and not one of whom acknowledged they were trying to get my attention. I turned back to the bar. Then it happened again. I realised someone was trying to wind me up. I turned around with a smile and offered to the sea of unidentifiable faces, “Come on lads. Pack it in now.” Many women will know not to anger drunken men. Fighting is not sensible. Glass is involved.

Why would the men do this? Easy.  “Woman alone. Fun. Bit of a joke?” Or something more along the lines of “Woman.. alone.... confident.... let’s take that away! That will be fun. She is few and we are many.” The latter is what experience teaches me.

And so I registered all this rather quickly and thought that continuing to ignore was best.

And then I was tapped on the shoulder again. This was swiftly followed by a hand firmly though my legs and a grab, quite hard, of my vagina. I spun around. Not a face moved. All men stared ahead.

All. Men. Stared. Ahead.

And that’s when you know.

Nothing has changed. Nothing is changing.

Unless ordinary women keep fighting, I will be long dead before I can go to a bar and expect to keep myself, and my vagina, safe.

For women... the Weinstein case heralds no new dawn. These men won’t even know about it. They won’t have seen the hashtag #MeToo They won’t have got the “stoppit now” memo. They won’t have read the front part of the newspapers before clicking through to the football. They won’t have clicked the ardent blogs before clicking on Pornhub.

Why the hell would they? The world and bars and women are theirs. Women should stop being hopeful. They should stop listening to men being hopeful on their behalf.

When all men stare ahead while a woman is sexually assaulted, women must stare at the future and know it will not change unless we change it.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Ride For Murdered Women - 2016

Yesterday I completed the final ride of an awareness-raising project I started in March 2017 to complete a bike ride named in honour of each of the women murdered in 2016 by men they knew - as a result of domestic abuse. I mostly used a list provided by Claire Moore of Certain Curtain Theatre Company who compiles it for her "One in 4" project. I thank her for her extreme kindness and solidarity. I have tried to raise some money for Wearside Women In Need who faced a severe funding cut and the loss of all 4 specialist refuges in Sunderland. They have confirmed they are delighted to accept as much money as I have raised and will continue to be in desperate need of funds. I hope to continue to help them.

It has been an honour to ride for each and every one of these brave and beautiful women. Fighting my way up hills that took my last breath sometimes, was nothing, nowhere near close, to the agony and horror they endured before they breathed their last at the hands of some of the most brutal and wicked of men that have ever walked the Earth. I hate every one of the men who murdered these women. I have no sympathy for their "excuses". I care nothing for their mental health or drug issues. I don't care about their upbringing or their "provocation". No man should take the life of a woman. No woman should be trapped with a man who hates her. No mother or sister or child or friend should have that woman stolen from their lives.

Women fight hard to keep other women in this world. They staff refuges, answer helplines, march in streets, sit in each other's houses holding hands, meet with ministers, beg for funds, compile harrowing lists of dead women at great personal cost in order to prove male violence, ask online how women are doing, give advice, link arms, join shoulders, bleed together and cry together. Women do big things and women do small things. We do what we can. Women are fierce and mighty when they join with each other.

Some women are alone. Those are the women who die. We must get to those women somehow. We must teach them as girls. We must arm them for this war waged against them by violent and brutal men.  We must teach them to recognise their abusers and know how to get help. There must be help for them to get. We need more than words from those in power. We need hard cash and resources. Women cannot escape their murderers on promises alone.

Men - look to other men. Look to yourselves. Take responsibility. This is male violence. It is cruel and it is ugly. Women can't stop this on our own. We don't need you to come to feminist space. We don't need you to wear a stupid t-shirt. Men need to stop hurting women - that's all. Stop other men hurting women. Refuse to listen to those men. Or stand with them. Or excuse them. Men need to learn that women are not possessions, or punchbags or power games. Women are not receptacles for your sperm, your anger, or your hatred. Tell men.

I have cried more times than I can remember as I learned the histories of these women and how they died. Some days I cried as I rode. Some nights I woke up remembering how they were murdered and, unable to sleep, planned the next bike ride in my head. Some rides I dreaded because the story was too much. Some stories were just too damned much.

Tomorrow I will begin to ride for the women murdered by men they loved in 2017. The bodies and the stories of male violence just don't stop coming it seems no matter how hard women work. We just keep working. We just keep going. I salute each and every woman who does anything that helps keep women alive. If it is your friend or the woman at work, or a neighbour,  and you ask her how she is... I salute you. If it is the woman who keeps fighting to keep her refuge doors open... I salute you hard. If it is the women of The Freedom Programme or Women's Aid or any of the other domestic violence services... ah you women are don't need me for anything. But I love you anyway.

Mostly I think of the woman who sits and dreams of a life for herself and her children where she is not afraid..... the woman who thinks her life is over most days and that she is just waiting to die ... but in some stray and errant seconds she drifts into a world and a life she knows exists somewhere. The life she should be living. I send love to that woman and hope she keeps on living until she gets that life.

"The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still... for the caged bird sings of freedom"......Maya Angelou

.................keep singing sister. We can hear you. Just keep singing.

The women........

Ride #1 Katrina O Hara - Stabbed to death by her ex husband outside her place of work as she closed the shop. He had lain in wait for her. 

Ride #2 Georgina Symonds - strangled with twine after she "dumped" the man who repeatedly bought her body to use for sex and told her he loved her. Prostitutes lives  matter too. 

Ride #3 Lisa Jane Lyttle - strangled to death by her husband with a mobile phone cord. He was annoyed afterwards that he lost all his friends. 

Ride #4 Andrea Lewis Stamped to death by her husband who then dragged her outside and left her to be found in the street half-naked with 41 different injuries. There was a history of him covering her in bruises.  

Ride #5 Guida Rufino - had her throat slashed and was stabbed in the chest 4 times by an ex- partner she had told to leave. He tied up her friend who had come to help her so that she heard her best friend die, screaming and begging for her life.

Ride #6 Elidona Demiraj stabbed to death by her partner - neighbours heard her screaming and a loud thud.

Ride #7 Geraldine Newman - Beaten to death with a hammer whilst her children lay bleeding to death upstairs after her husband stabbed them.

Ride #8 Caroline Andrews - Strangled to death by her husband, who had defrauded her dementia suffering father out of more than £260,000. He then checked into a hotel room with a woman he intended to prostitute after buying knives, Prosecco and condoms. He lied to their 4 children about her death. 

Ride #9 Bethany Hill - tortured by two men - one of whom was her ex-partner. They bound a Barbie Doll, supposed to resemble her, with duct tape just as they did her before repeatedly slashing her wrists as neighbours heard her screaming. 

Ride #10 - Sheila Jefferson - brutally murdered by her brother-in-law. 17 blunt force injuries to her face and also shot in the face. 

Ride #11 - For Kerry Gascoigne who was strangled to death by her partner. 

Ride #12 - for Leanne Wall was head-butted and then strangled to death by her ex-partner

Ride #13 - for Maria Byrne whose husband doused her in white spirit and then turned the gas on so she caught alight. She lived for 30 minutes. 

Ride #14 - for Rose Hill who was strangled to death by her grandson who also killed her daughter. 

Ride #15 - for Julie Hill who was axed in the face, had her teeth punched out and was then drowned in the bath by her nephew who had also murdered her mother. 

Ride #16 - For Lisa Reynolds - stabbed 17 times by her boyfriend as she begged him to stop because the knife was blunt as her children watched. She screamed "The knife is blunt! Stop it Baz."

Ride #17 - For Natasha Bradbury who was murdered by her ex who cracked her ribs, her neck, injured her brain and caused heart injuries. 

Ride #18 for Julie Archer - doused in petrol and set alight by her brother. She told a nurse he did it just before she died. 

Ride #19 For Gemma Stevens - her boyfriend stamped on her head 11 times, stabbed her and then set her house on fire. 

Ride #20 for Dawn Green killed by her husband who then hanged himself.  

Ride #21 for Carrie Ann Izzard who was fatally stabbed 29 times in the neck by her ex

Ride #22 for Lyndsey Smith – who was stabbed to death in the stomach by her ex who went off out having a nice time as she died after years of abuse. 

Ride #23 for Lynn Freeman who was stabbed by her partner who murdered his ex partner, Jodie Betteridge, just minutes later. 

Ride #24 for Jodie Betterridge who was stabbed 30 times in the head and 45 times in the torso – a total of 132 times altogether. The blade of the knife of the man’s knife broke off with the ferocity. He stabbed her on her front garden in front of her 3 children, one of whom ran around in the sun screaming and covered in her blood.

Ride #25 for Joanna Trojniak who was stabbed 6 times by a partner she was trying to leave. He than stabbed himself a tiny bit and ran into the street crying as an attempt to escape justice. 

Ride #26 for Amina Begum who was killed by her son after “multiple incised wounds” according to the coroner. 

Ride #27 for Natasha Sadler who was stabbed through the head and suffered other stab wounds after a man who lived in the same house was unhappy that she turned on a tap and his shower temperature changed. 

Ride #28 for Laura Marshall who was murdered by her ex after months of abuse. He left her in a bath of her own blood, raped and covered in bruises.
Ride #29 for Tracy Cockrell whose partner strangled her and then set her on fire.

Ride #30 for Helen Bailey who was targeted during her grief for her dead husband and then manipulated by a new partner who then suffocated her and buried her in a cesspit under the garage – allowing police to search for her body for months. He killed her dog too and buried it alongside her. 

Ride #31 for Leigh Ann Mahachi who was stabbed 40 times by her ex in the street outside her house. Her mother heard her screams as she died and came out to try to stop her blood with towels as her ex partner ran away. 

Ride #32 for Jean Ryan who was stabbed to death by her husband. 

Ride #33 for Nasreen Khan who was a care worker, stabbed to death with her 5 children in the house, because her husband did not like that she visited men as part of her job.

Ride #34 for Fay Daniels who was stabbed 17 times including 4 to her face, 8 to her neck and had 2 broken ribs. Her ex then dumped her in the back yard.

Ride #35 for Xin Xin Lei repeatedly stabbed by her husband.

Ride #36 For Louise O' Brien whose husband strangled her to death then left a heart-shaped chocolate on the pillow next to her dead body.

Ride #37 For Natalie Hemming whose husband found out she was going to leave him and beat her to death. Her 6 year old son crept out of bed and saw his mother during the murder but was frightened he would be told off. Her husband then dumped her body face down in a wood to be found 3 weeks later and took the children to the zoo.

Ride #38 For Iris Owens whose son strangled, kicked and slashed at her with a chainsaw as she hung out washing on the line in her garden.

Ride #39 For Becky Morgan who was on a date with a man who "allowed" her to fall into the sea without raising the alarm or helping as she drowned. He went off to the pub instead.

Ride #40 for Maria Mbombo whose husband stabbed her to death after an internet search for "the most painful place to stab someone".

Ride #41 for Marina Erte beaten severely by her jealous ex who then drowned her by holding a shower attachment to her face.

Ride #42 for Marina Nolan whose ex slashed her throat and strangled her with a TV flex. He put their 2 year old son out into the street to wander then returned with 3 knives and stabbed her to death leaving her to be found by her other son. (Marina was murdered in 2002 but I was asked by her friend to honour her death)

Ride #43 For Sonita Nijhawan whose husband axed her in the head 40 times and also stabbed her 78 times because she wanted a divorce. She took her rings off the day before and he replaced them after she was dead. He was jailed for manslaughter because "depressed" but not too depressed and "out of control" to search "softest part of the human female skull" the day before.

Ride #44 for Dawn Rhodes. Her husband was cleared of murder. I've included her in this list because he slashed her throat. He had been stalking her, checking her phone and Facebook and found she was seeing another man. He had harassed her and her friends via Facebook posts from a fake profile. It is sad that she was the one labeled "unstable" and he walked free.

Ride #45 for Andrena Douglas - police arrived to tell her her partner was injured in a caravan fire- only to find her murdered.

Ride #46 for Karen Hales - bludgeoned to death with a hammer by her daughter's ex-partner. He raped and murdered her daughter Jade at the same time.

Ride #47 for Jade Hales - ex- partner broke in and raped her, murdered her and then also murdered her mother and dog.

Ride #48 for Keziah Flux-Edmunds - aged 6. Killed by her father to torture her mother, his estranged wife. He drowned Keziah and her pet dogs and lay them all on the bed for her mother to find alongside a letter which said " You've taken everything and I will leave you with just memories."

Ride #49 for Helen Fraser - stabbed multiple times by her partner in front of her daughter as neighbours heard her screaming.

Ride #50 for Jean Irwin whose husband hit her with a hammer as she slept and then strangled her.

Ride #51 for Nijole Sventeckiene whose partner slit her throat with a single 5 inch long incision and left her naked crying for help.

Ride #52 for Agnieszka Szymura who was stabbed by her partner 30 times as neighbours watched. There was evidence of past abuse and injuries.

Ride #53 for Sandra Gill. There was clear evidence of past abuse at the hands of her husband and yet a coroner could not be certain that her severe head injury was inflicted by him. He said she may have "fallen off the toilet". Grown women can sit on toilets. And beds. Even when drunk.

Ride #54 for Sarah Nash who was strangled by her ex-partner who was allowed to walk free just months before to attend a "relationship course".

Ride #55 was for Jules Parkin who was killed this year. It was so shocking to know that her class would be going into school to hear that their teacher had been murdered. I included her at the request of a friend but will also ride for her again.

Ride #56 Alison Muncaster shot by her husband as she sat on the sofa.

Ride #57 for Emma Baum whose ex-partner battered her to death with a crowbar and then urged her mother to come and "find her" with him.

Ride #58 for Claire Hart shot by her husband days after she left him. He left a note "revenge is a dish best served cold" he also shot her daughter alongside her after lying in wait for them. He reloaded his gun between rounds.

Ride #59 for Charlotte Hart whose father shot her alongside her mum because her mum had left him days before. His note also said "Karma is a bitch". Charlotte's last words were "It was my dad who shot me". Brave to the last.

Ride #60 for Tracey Gabriel who was stabbed repeatedly by a male "friend" who also stabbed another friend of hers.

Ride #61 for Samia Shahid whose ex-husband raped her and strangled her as he disapproved of her second marriage. Her father assisted him.

Ride #62 for Nicola Haworth suffocated by her ex-partner who left her 9 month old baby screaming in the house beside her body.

Ride #63 for Lenuta Iona Haidemac - prostituted by her partner to another man who raped and murdered her. He strangled her, stabbed her twice, punctured her nipples and wrote a name on her body.

Ride #64 for Margaret Mayer whose husband bludgeoned her to death with a lamp.

Ride #65 for Hannah Pearson whose partner strangl
ed her to death after watching porn. She did not consent to the porn-influenced "sex" either the judge found.

Ride #66 for Gergana Prodanova murdered by her ex-partner who was furious that she refused to go back to him and was beginning a new relationship. He put her naked body in a suitcase and dragged it through the town centre before dumping her to decompose beside a railway line. She had endured years of abuse.

Ride #67 for Lynne Braund who had a deep fear of fires. Her 18 month old daughter had died in a house fire in 1990 and she still suffered the trauma of that when her ex-partner squirted her with lighter fluid and set her on fire. Then left as she burned. 

Ride #68 for Donna Williamson whose boyfriend accused her of sleeping with other men so he stabbed her in the heart and lung. She had tried to call the police and he could be heard screaming "You are dying. You are dying mate. Your life is slipping away from you. What you done to me you c*nt, you f*cking deserve it."

Ride #69 for Xixi Bi beaten to death by her partner. She had 41 injuries including a broken jaw and ribs. Paramedics found her body so bruised they thought it was a result of her being dead for days not hours.

Ride #70 for Jean Constant asphyxiated with a plastic bag by her husband .

Ride #71 for Karen Arnold was murdered by her husband who stabbed her multiple times.

Ride #72 for Alison Jane Farr-Davies beaten to death by her boyfriend and thrown downstairs naked. Her body was hit with such force that there was a penetrating cardia injury - similar injuries are only seen in war as a result of shrapnel, grenades, mortar bombs and explosions.

Ride #73 for Hayley Dean whose partner bludgeoned her to death with a lump hammer and then slept next to her body. He put her head under the pillow. When she was found she had a cigarette in her mouth and a lighter in the other hand.
Ride #74 for Elizabeth Bowe
 whose brother murdered her because she was going to accuse him of rape. She was found with a dressing gown around her neck and naked from the waist down as he sat close by smoking a cigarette.

Ride #75 for Melinda Korosi whose ex-partner raped her 3 times before gouging a hole in her neck with a sharpened rock. Police deemed her high risk after she had recently accused him of rape.

Ride #76 for Nasreem Buksh whose estranged husband bashed her skull in as she slept. The children reported that he never spoke to her and hadn't for years.

Ride #77 for Natasha Wake whose partner stabbed her 11 times with an 8 inch knife. He stabbed her with such force that 6 of the wounds went through her torso and out of her back. He then wrapped her in a duvet and put her under the stairs telling her daughter that the blood on the walls was ketchup. He was unhappy that she had found out he was being investigated for sexual assault.

Ride #78 for Jaqueline Pattenden whose partner stabbed her to death through her chest in his home.

Ride #79 for Mandy Gallear whose husband stabbed her as she unloaded the dishwasher because she had told him she was leaving him

Ride #80 for Vicky Bance whose husband saw her talking to another man so he stabbed her 23 times with a commando knife. She had 16 stab wounds to her chest, 14 deeply penetrating her heart and both lungs and any one of them could have been fatal with the maximum depth of one wound being 20cm.

Ride #81 for Sophie Smith whose boyfriend beat her for 4 hours breaking 11 of her ribs, her eye socket and her nose.

Ride #82 for Alice Ruggles who was stalked increasingly and relentlessly before eventually being stabbed to death by an ex partner who had already terrorised and abused her. She felt "palmed off" by police. He eventually broke in to her home and slashed her throat from ear to ear. He stabbed her at least 6 times. Even as he waited to murder her he was on his phone arranging a Tinder date for afterwards.

Ride #83 for Lucy Jones murdered by ex partner in a sustained and brutal attack with a total of 90 separate injuries.

Ride #84 for Belen Tripp whose husband stabbed her 24 times with some of those wounds 14cm deep and damaging her shoulder blades with the ferocity.

Ride #85 for Deeqa Ibrahim who kindly visited her ill husband before he returned to Somalia. He grabbed her and locked them both in the bathroom where he began stabbing her to death.

Ride #86 for Rebecca Johnson stabbed to death by her boyfriend who escaped and pretended to be suffering from hypothermia.

Ride #87 for Linda Ordinans was found murdered after her husband called police to report her murder shortly before killing himself.

Ride #88 for Andraya Webb told her boyfriend on a night out that their relationship was over after he had been violent towards her too many times. She assured friends it would be ok for her to go home even after he had become aggressive. Her ex returned and broke into her home. He hit her with an iron. He stamped on her face so hard he left a boot mark. He poured paint down her throat and put gas canisters between her thighs before setting her on fire. She had 45 different injuries and was breathing when she was set alight. He said "Some of us have angels and some of us have demons. Tonight the demons won."

Ride #89 for Umida Eshboboeva strangled to death by her husband just before Christmas. Always an enhanced period of risk for victims.

Ride #90 for Angela Best was murdered by a man at his home. Few other details are available.

Ride #91 for Claire Paton was beaten to death by her ex-partner - the excuse offered was that he had tinnitus. He also attacked her son with a nail gun after throttling her. No excuse is acceptable for killing a woman. Not even poorly ears.

Ride #92 for Hayley Wall who was lured into a "relationship" with her abusive uncle. He then murdered her because she refused to sexually touch him in public in front of her friends. He smashed her skull in with a television.

Ride #93 for Nicola Woodman murdered on Christmas Day 2016 by her partner who stabbed her in the chest. He also battered her with a pickaxe handle. A judge told him "You are not ill. You are wicked."

Ride #94 for Tracy McPartland beaten to death over a 2 day period by her son who had  history of abusing her. She had a total of 29 separate injuries. The judge said "she simply took the beating and did not seek help". No woman expects the child they give birth to will one day beat the life from them. It is the ultimate betrayal.