Happy New Year to you all.
We enter 2024 at Respect with determination and hope and we’re looking forward to working with you all throughout this year and beyond. This year, we will be delivering a packed programme of work including:
- Rolling out Stopping the Harm, our five-year strategy launched in October which will include laying the foundations of our new Centre for Excellence
- Publishing a joint briefing with our colleagues at Women’s Aid calling for whole-system investment in survivor support alongside perpetrator responses
- Publishing our general election Manifesto that sets out what we want to see from the next government in terms of addressing the perpetration of domestic abuse
And I’m delighted to share with you our most exciting news: we will be welcoming Dr. Purna Sen as Respect’s new Chair of Trustees. Purna brings more than three decades of experience in the VAWG sector, with a PhD in domestic violence, and several pieces of published work on violence against women. Purna has worked on VAWG sector policy at local, national and international level, including at the United Nations, where she was a spokesperson for UN Women. Purna is currently a Special Advisor to the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court and a Visiting Professor at CWASU. We are delighted that Purna will be joining us.
Purna will take over from Sarah Mullen in March as Sarah comes to the end of her term as Respect’s Chair. Over the past eight years Sarah has worked tirelessly in the role of Chair, providing steady leadership, steering Respect through a significant period of growth, the Covid-19 pandemic and many challenges. She has been such a hugely supportive, collaborative and brilliant Chair and is leaving behind a strong Board with good governance. More details about Purna’s transition into the Chair role will be shared in the next Respect newsletter at the end of January.
In the meantime, we remain conscious that the outcomes we are seeking cannot be achieved by Respect alone. We will be engaging with parliamentarians and policymakers, with members and partners across the voluntary and statutory sectors, with funders, commissioners, employers and many others this year. We remain committed to, and really ambitious about, creating a real shift in services, systems and society’s response to the perpetration of abuse.