#KNOW HER NAME: National Domestic Violence Charity Refuge Publishes List of Names to Commemorate the Lives of Women Killed in a Context of Domestic Violence from 2010-2013 and Renews Call for Public Inquiry into Police and State Response to Domestic Violence

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Today (Friday 6th February 2015), national domestic violence charity Refuge publishes a list of names to commemorate the lives of women killed in the context of domestic violence, from 2010 to 2013. Refuge is also renewing its call for a public inquiry into police and state response to domestic violence.

To see the full list of names, click here.

 

Sandra Horley CORRECT HEADSHOT 2014Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of national domestic violence charity Refuge, says:
“Two women are killed every week by a current or former partner and too often opportunities to protect them – to prevent their deaths – are missed. Refuge hears, day in day out, of police failing to arrest perpetrators, CPS failing to prosecute, GPs failing to share concerns, Social Services failing to investigate. This has gone on long enough. Something has to change and that is why Refuge is calling for a public inquiry into the police and state response to domestic violence.

“In recent years Refuge has been working with the families of women killed by violent partners or ex-partners to push for change and obtain justice for their loved ones who were failed when they reached out for help – women like Maria Stubbings, Katie Boardman, Sabina Akhtar and Cassie Hasanovic.

“That is why today Refuge is publishing a list of names of women who have been killed in a context of domestic violence from the start of 2010 to the end of 2013. That’s 268 names. These women are not statistics. They are real people – sisters, daughters, mothers. Women like Rachael Slack (and her two-year-old son, Auden), Linah Keza, Natasha Trevis, Christine Chambers (and her two-year-old daughter, Shania), Jeanette Goodwin, Samantha Laney, Rebecca Sessacar, Sarah Gosling, Jane Clough, Christine Lee and her daughter, Lucy Lee. The list goes on and on and on. But it must not go on any longer. We must all speak out for the dead to protect the living. Please add your name to Refuge’s petition urging the Government to open a public inquiry. #KnowHerName.”

 

Approaching the first anniversary of the murders of her mother, Christine Lee, and sister, Lucy Lee, Stacy Banner says:

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“This time last year two women were shot dead on a farm in Surrey by a man who I had known as my stepdad: John Lowe. Their names were Christine Lee and Lucy Lee. The story was all over the press. But it wasn’t just a story to me. It was my mother and my sister – my family – cruelly taken away from me by John Lowe – a licensed shotgun holder.

“I am devastated by their loss. I cannot come to terms with the fact that they are gone and they are not coming back. My life will never be the same.

“I knew John Lowe was dangerous and that he would kill. I told the police – more than once. Surrey police took away John Lowe’s guns. But they gave them back to him. And then he killed my family. I want answers from the police. The IPCC is investigating Surrey Police and I await the publication of their findings. I cannot comment further on this while their investigation is ongoing.

“I had heard the statistic that two women are killed every week by a partner or ex-partner. But I never thought that one week those two women would be my two women – my mum and my sister.

‘Domestic violence has to stop. It is unacceptable that so many women and children still live in fear for their lives and are so let down by the agencies designed to protect them. There needs to be a public inquiry into what is going wrong. In memory of my mum, Christine, and my sister, Lucy.’’

 

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Refuge’s campaign for a public inquiry is backed by a number of families who have lost loved ones to domestic violence.

 

Sharon de Souza, mother of the late Cassie HasanovicCassandra (‘Cassie’) Hasanovic was killed by her estranged husband, Hajrudin Hasanovic, in 2008.

Sharon de Souza, Cassie’s mother, says: “My daughter Cassie was a beautiful, courageous young woman, who did everything within her power to protect herself and her children. She was a wonderful mother whose greatest wish was the chance to watch her children grow up. Although her situation was in the hands of three different agencies, ultimately these agencies let her down. The jury have unanimously decided what we always felt: that there were a number of serious failings by all three state agencies that ultimately impacted on her chance to a life. I would like to end by supporting Refuge’s call for a public inquiry in the hope that another family does not have to go through what we have.”

 

Hayden Slack, brother of the late Rachel Slack, and his wife, MelonyRachael and Auden Slack were killed by Rachael’s ex-partner, Andrew Cairns, in 2010.

Hayden and Melony Slack, Rachael Slack’s brother and sister-in-law, say: “The space that has been left in our lives by the tragic loss of Rachael and Auden will never be filled and never should be. Rachael was a devoted mother, an intelligent, trusting and truly caring young woman. Last year, a jury inquest found that police failings contributed to the deaths of Rachael and Auden. We hope that this finding will help ensure that the police learn lessons and instigate necessary changes to their approach and procedures in order to protect the lives of other women and children deemed to be at risk of domestic violence – a problem the Coroner described as an “epidemic”. And we add our voice to the calls of Refuge and other families such as that of Maria Stubbings for a public inquiry into state failings in response to domestic violence.”

 

Manuel Fernandez, Celia Peachey, and Bengi StubbingsMaria Stubbings was killed by her ex-partner, Marc Chivers – a man who was known to police, having served a life sentence for killing another ex-girlfriend – in 2008.

Manuel Fernandez (pictured far left), Maria’s brother, says: “The police say lessons have been learned – but then we read about other cases where Essex Police and other forces have failed women in Maria’s situation. That’s why we’re calling for a public inquiry. We want justice for Maria and for all women facing domestic violence who are failed by the state.”

 

 

 

Joseph Lynch, brother of the late Colette Lynch.Colette Lynch was killed by her ex-partner, Percy Wright, in 2005.

Joseph Lynch, Colette’s brother, says: “I am supporting Refuge’s call for a public inquiry in memory of my dear sister, Colette. So many of the deaths taken by domestic violence are preventable. The police, social services, mental health services and the Crown Prosecution Service need to get the basics right. My message we have is clear – do your jobs properly and prevent the preventable.”

 

 

 

Family of the late Katie SummersKatie Summers was killed by her ex-partner, Brian Taylor, in 2008.

Sarah Summers (pictured right), Katie’s sister, says: “I want to see real change in the way that women experiencing domestic violence are treated by the criminal justice system. Too many police officers, judges and social workers still don’t understand the severity of this crime. That’s why I am supporting Refuge’s call for a public inquiry. I am speaking out in Katie’s name – to help other women and children get the support they need.”

 

Debbie Buttars and her husband CliveHannah Fisher was killed by her ex-partner, Simon Marsh, in 2009.

Debbie Buttars, Hannah’s mother, says: “I can’t help Hannah anymore but I feel I need to do something positive, to ensure that there is a benefit from the huge tragedy of her loss. Hopefully by raising awareness of domestic violence I can help other families avoid what we have been through – and what we continue to go through. That’s why I am supporting Refuge’s call for a public inquiry.”

 

 

 

Gurda Dhaliwal took her life in 2005 following years of violent abuse from her husband.

Nav Jagpal, Gurda’s brother, says: “My beloved sister Gurda ended her life in February 2005 after 20 years of mental and physical abuse at the hands of her violent husband. I was sickened when in May 2006 he was acquitted by the court. I will continue to fight for justice for women experiencing domestic violence. That’s why I am supporting Refuge’s call for a public inquiry into the police and state response to victims of domestic violence.”

 

 

Sabina Akhtar was killed by her husband, Malik Mannan, in 2008.

Reaz and Rasheda Talukder, Sabina’s uncle and aunt, say: “Sabina was loved very dearly by her family and friends – she was a brave woman and was devoted to her son. We are adding our voices to Refuge’s campaign for a public inquiry because we want to continue to fight against the injustice that other women like Sabina experience.”

 

 

All photos copyright Julian Nieman