Lawrence backs JWA’s help for the ‘voiceless’


Justice campaigner Baroness Lawrence urged more than 300 guests at a Jewish Women's Aid lunch to support the "voiceless within our community".

Baroness Lawrence - who campaigned for police reforms following the murder of her son, Stephen, in 1993 - was the guest speaker at the central London event, which raised more than £150,000 for the domestic violence charity.

"Sometimes, we as women do not realise the strength we have within ourselves," she said.

"For those of us who find that strength, we need to use it for those who are voiceless within our community.

"We are here today to support women who are suffering domestic violence and to raise their concerns that not enough is being done. In the past, the police saw this as a domestic between a husband and wife and, therefore, not to be taken seriously." She confided that she never thought she would find the strength to battle institutional racism in the police force.

"If anyone had said to me I would be taking on the role of the justice system, changing laws, I would have said: 'Who, me? I cannot do that.'"

She had spoken out "because of the injustice. The police had a view that all black people were of criminal intent. The vast majority of the black community are law-abiding citizens."

Naomi Dickson, who became JWA executive director last year, said it continued to assist "Jewish women and children living with the horror of domestic violence through our counselling service, refuge and support team and specialist children's service."

Around 400 people were supported by JWA last year.

An additional 3,000, the majority teenagers, were reached through its educational programme.

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