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Aneeta PremCF
Violence against women tackled at cathedral event

Norfolk people pledged to support the elimination all forms of violence against women and girls on International Women’s Day in Norwich Cathedral on March 8. Aneeta Prem spoke on violence against women and girls worldwide. Helen Baldry reports.


The Dean of Norwich Cathedral welcomed over 250 people to the International Women’s Day event, focusing on breaking the silence around violence against women. The day was an opportunity to discover more about the issue and hear from the 28 charities and groups which work to combat violence against women both locally and globally.

Organisations represented include the Mothers Union Norwich Diocese, The Magdalene Group, Leeway and Freedom Charity, whose founder Aneeta Prem was the speaker at the event.

IWD20172Aneeta spoke about the work of her Norwich-based charity, which goes into schools across the country to speak about issues such as forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM) Following the event in Norwich, Aneeta travelled to Downing Street to an event with Theresa May. Aneeta has written two books about the subject that are read in school and she believes that education is the key to eradicate the horrendous violence seen against women in this country and overseas.

Anneta said, “If we don’t nurture young girls, we risk a generation where women are the underclass.” She is passionate about including boys and men in the discussion about violence, acknowledging that they are part of the solution.

There was a call to action to all present at the event to speak up about issues such as FGM. Aneeta said, “We have to stop it. It is the responsibility of each and every one of us. There is no religion which says this barbaric act is acceptable.”

Freedom charity train teachers, police officers and midwives on what to look out for and there is also a free app called ‘the freedom charity’ that can help people identify when somebody is being abused and provide the correct means of getting help.

Marguerite Phillips, Mothers’ Union Norwich Diocesan President said,  “As an international charity Mothers’ Union has a long history of campaigning at United Nations and government levels to end violence against women and girls in its many forms.  Members work within their local communities across the world to bring about change.  We are delighted once again to join with the growing number of organisations who are part of Norfolk Women Reaching Women and on International Women’s Day 2017 will state our concerns about women everywhere and pledge our organisation’s action”                              

IWD20171Organisations represented

  • Mothers’ Union Norwich Diocese
  • The Norfolk Federation of Women’s Institutes
  • Associated Country Women Worldwide
  • Equal Lives
  • Age UK
  • Victim Support
  • Norfolk Community Law Service
  • Norfolk CC – Domestic Abuse Change coordinators
  • Leeway
  • The Wellbeing Community Development Service
  • MIND
  • Harbour Centre
  • Soroptimists
  • Freedom Charity
  • 4women centre (new rural project)
  • Norfolk CC Community Learning
  • UEA RESNET
  • Women’s Equality Party
  • Norwich Dedza
  • Gambian Aid Through Education GATE …. need space for their rail
  • Diversity Plus
  • Daisy Programme (supporting survivors of Domestic Abuse in Breckland)
  • Magdalen Group
  • Women’s International League of Peace & Freedom
  • Ormiston Families, Great Yarmouth
Pictured above: Aneeta Prem
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