Celebrating International Women’s Day

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Many women have made huge strides in achieving gender equality and overcoming barriers when it comes to violence against women.

Today, March 8, marks International Women’s Day, a global holiday celebrated annually to commemorate the achievements of women all over the world.

As part of this important day, we celebrate and focus on the achievements of women, past and present, who have made an impact on violence against women. Domestic violence is a very gendered health issue. On a global scale, about 736 million women have been subjected to physical and or sexual violence.

The three women discussed in this blog only make up a small handful of these women, yet their accomplishments nationally made a difference for countless victims of domestic violence.

Erin Pizzey

In 1971, Erin Pizzey, a bored housewife, started the first shelter for battered women in the UK. She started a social center near her home with the intention of helping women navigate the benefits system and accessing healthcare. A woman came in with her children, covered in bruises, and explained to Pizzey that she had no one to help her. That is the moment that the Chiswick Women’s Aid began.

Tracey Thurman

Tracey Thurman’s case led to the passing of Connecticut’s 1986 Family Violence Prevention Act. In 1985, Tracey sued the Torrington Police Department for not protecting her and her son from her husband, who repeatedly attacked them and threatened to kill them. The last attack left Tracey paralyzed. She was awarded $2 million, and her case inspired the passing of the 1986 Family Violence Prevention Act and changed the way police departments handled domestic violence cases across the United States.

Lovern J. Gordan

Lovern Gordan witnessed domestic violence in her own home and spent two years in an abusive relationship herself. Starting in 2010, Lovern began winning titles in pageants in New England. During her victories, Lovern chose Awareness Against Domestic Violence as her platform. This led to her lifelong passion for domestic violence advocacy. In 2011, she started the Love Life Now Foundation, which brings awareness to domestic violence and hosts events that have raised thousands for domestic violence shelters. She continues to educate youth on domestic violence in schools and college campuses.

This International Women’s Day, we honor these women and all other women who have fought to end violence against women.