Riding for their lives - the ride for murdered women

Saturday 7th September will see hundreds of women across the UK Riding to honour women murdered by men they knew

The Ride For Murdered Women – started in March 2017 when feminist activist, Jean Hatchet, was riding her bike in Yorkshire when she decided to begin a small personal tribute to women murdered by men they knew. That day she rode her bike for Katrina O Hara who was stabbed outside the shop she worked at by her husband. She could not ring the police as the police had confiscated her mobile phone when she reported her husband’s stalking behaviour. She was left helpless at the hands of the man she once loved and he took her life.

Jean decided not to stop. She continued riding for each woman murdered since January 2016. She has now ridden her bike for 276 murdered women. She has ridden more than 7000 miles in their honour. Each time she rides she posts on Twitter details of the woman’s name and how she died and the brutal pain that is left behind with the woman’s family and friends.

On 7th September 2019 at 1pm Jean has asked women to join her for just one ride to celebrate the lives of all the women she has ridden for so far. Women will ride across the UK and globally in small groups as an act of solidarity with Jean. Women are also riding in their bedrooms on exercise bikes. Women will use wheelchairs if they cannot ride a bike. Women are riding in London, Manchester, Cambridge, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Ireland, Canada, Australia, Denmark and other cities worldwide. They will wear red and each woman will carry the name of a woman murdered since 2016 by a man she knew. This is not an organised ride as such. It is simply women riding to show their love for women who have been cruelly stolen from the world by men. It is also to raise awareness of how many men kill women who are their former or current partners. It is a feminist act. The ride is women only.

Jean says,

“I didn’t realise when I started to do this how much it would affect me. Each time I ride I think of the woman and the cruel details of her murder. I push down hard on the pedals and think of the incredible pain and sense of betrayal and fear the woman felt as she died. Sometimes I cry as I cycle. Sometimes I cry when I get back. The words ‘domestic abuse” hide so much. The reality is often too much. But I feel these women with me as I ride, almost like I carry them on my back. I am determined they will not be forgotten.”

In doing this Jean has also raised more than £20,000 for Wearside Women In Need who operate women’s refuges in Sunderland.

Jean will be riding on Saturday in Central London alongside Karen Ingala Smith who is the CEO of Nia – a women’s organisation operating refuges for some of the most vulnerable women in the UK. Karen also runs ‘Counting Dead Women’ and she began the Femicide Census which records and analyses the deaths of women murdered by men. All donations to Saturday’s ride fund will go to Nia to help keep women alive. Link here ... https://www.justgiving.com/fun...

In July 2018 Jean was diagnosed with Stage 3C Ovarian cancer. With an uncertain prognosis she continues to ride her bike often in pain but always with love. In November 2018 Jean was a Special Prize winner of the Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize for her work in challenging male violence against women.

Jean would like the government and police to be more committed to keeping women alive.

“We need government to recognise that saying the words ‘domestic abuse’ and committing to “end it” covers up the details of the terrible work of these men and how deep rooted the hatred of women is in our society. The failures of the police are woven through the stories below. The police must pay attention when women point out these men. Many women who pointed can no longer point. They are dead.”

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Certain Curtain Theatre, on Thursday 5 September, 2019. For more information subscribe and follow https://pressat.co.uk/

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Riding for their lives - the ride for murdered women