Annalisa Barbieri, journalist and Guardian columnist
“In my work as a columnist for the Guardian, I receive many letters from women who are in some way vulnerable and have to make difficult decisions about their own and their children’s futures. Many of them have very little understanding of their legal rights and are unsure about how the law can help them. The free legal advice and information Rights of Women offers these women is absolutely vital in ensuring that they can make safe and informed choices and can choose a path towards a more secure future. The work which Rights of Women has done over the past 40 years, not only to increase women’s understanding of the law, but to improve how women are treated by the law, has made a very real difference to the lives of women throughout England and Wales. This is why I was delighted to be its patron.”
Pips Taylor, television and radio presenter
“I first became aware of Rights of Women’s vital work when making the BBCThree documentary, ‘I Never Said Yes’. In that film I spoke to women affected by rape and found out just how frightening and traumatic they found the criminal justice system. I worked with one of Rights of Women’s Legal Officers who was able to explain the court process and help me to understand what this might involve for these women. So I know just how incredibly important the legal advice and support that Rights of Women give is.
When we know that 1 in 5 women experience rape or sexual assault, the work Rights of Women does is as crucial today as it ever has been. I am delighted to be invited to be their Patron and want to do what I can to help them raise awareness for the invaluable work that they do.”
Denise Robertson MBE, writer, television broadcaster, agony aunt
In remembrance of Denise Robertson (9 June 1932 – 31 March 2016)
We would like to commemorate Denise Robertson, who was our patron and committed supporter, who sadly passed away in March 2016. Emma Scott, former Director of Rights of Women, spoke of Denise as a champion of ROW’s work and services, noting how Denise constantly signposted women to us and had a passion for and determination to address women’s inequality. Denise dedicated her life to helping others and we are honoured to have been able to work with her.
“Every day I get letters and messages from women desperate to know their rights when their relationship breaks down, when they have experienced violence or when they need to make arrangements for their children. I know how vital it is for those women to have someone to help them understand their legal rights and enable them to make decisions. For many years I have been telling women about Rights of Women. I know that they will guide women through the complexities of the law and the court systems, offering them expert guidance and providing that listening ear so important at times of stress.
The need for places like Rights of Women is now more urgent than ever. The cuts to legal aid mean that women are going without legal advice and representation, which impacts on children. Rights of Women offers hope in a very dark place for women which is why I am very proud to support them as their patron.”