Ride For Murdered Women
At first my idea was really simple. I was riding along by the coast a couple of days ago and in my head thinking, as I often do, how many women are murdered as a result of domestic violence every year. How lucky I am to be riding my bike. Free. No one to tell me not to. Not any more.
This is not so for many women. Some women are with men who would smash their bike when they returned. Some women are with men who would call them too stupid, too fat, too selfish, too old, too useless to be doing something so simple and free as riding a bike. Some women can no longer ride a bike because they are dead. A man who they thought loved them, killed them.
So, for the rest of 2017, I will cycle for women who were murdered by men known to them in 2016. It is a big list. I will dedicate each ride to a woman. I cycled on Saturday for Katrina O'Hara. Stabbed to death by her partner Stuart Thomas.
The saddest thing is wondering if I have enough cycling days left in 2017 to honour the deaths of the women murdered in 2016. That was a very sobering thought. But I will do my best.
I promise that I will never ride less than 10 miles for any woman on the list... my usual ride is between 20 and 40 miles. I promise I will ride till my lungs scream. These women were worth it. Let us honour those women and celebrate their lives.
Wearside Women In Need have kindly agreed to accept the money. Claire Moore who runs the Dead Women Walking Murder March is providing me with the list of women.
As with the last fund I set up.... no money will touch my bank account at any point and Go Fund Me will direct funds straight to the charity once it is completed. They will add their bank account and provide verification.
Please help me to help women escape men who may kill them.
My heartfelt thanks for whatever you can spare.
Much love and gratitude,
Jean Hatchet x
I just wanted to drop a quick line ... firstly to say thank you for all the donations. Every single one has moved me. Because when people care about women that matters. No matter how small is the way you say it - you are saying you want to keep women alive and free of abuse.
I completed 94 bike rides and over 2500 miles for women murdered in 2016 by men known to them. Most were husbands, partners, ex-partners, fathers, sons and grandsons. The men who should have loved them.
The accounts of the beautiful women and how their lives were cruelly stolen by these barbaric and soulless men is written here.
Wearside women are gratefully accepting your donations. I am told they hope to fund a specialist domestic abuse worker to work with women on an individual basis. You have actually contributed to a woman in need getting someone who will listen and help. They will take what is raised so far at Christmas.
I'm going to leave the fund open beyond then with funds still going to the wonderful and struggling Wearside Women ....as I've started to ride for Women Murdered in 2017. As far as I can see I will be riding this bike until men stop killing women. Until governments start realising that the words "domestic abuse" are not simply words but fists through heads, knives through torsos, words smashed through brains day after day. I hope that they begin to properly fund vital resources like Wearside Women In Need.... not leave Sunderland without specialist refuges.
Once again, my genuine thanks for all you have done and I wish you a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Jean Hatchet x
I just wanted to update you on the rides I’ve been doing since last update. Please feel free to ignore – especially if the details upset you. They aren’t easy reading and I do understand. Thank you again if you aren’t reading further but you might consider telling others what I’m doing?
Women who escape violent, coercive, abusive men have climbed mountains. They’ve done it on their hands and knees, sometimes feeling the bitter wind blowing in their faces, dragging at their skin, the road strewn with shards of glass that rip at their knees with every inch. Or that’s how it feels. That’s how these women make their way to refuges. If they are lucky. They have endured pain and suffering different to any other. We can all be hurt. But to be hurt repeatedly by the one you think you love. The one who tells you that he cannot live without you. The one who tells you that you WILL NOT live without him. That takes superhuman strength to escape.
When these broken women arrive at the door of a refuge they have made a leap across a chasm. They have taken risks and they have more worries and pain than they think can ever be solved or fixed. They drag children behind them in a desperate hope that someone will help. Someone will be at the top of the mountain to offer them hope.
What if the door of that refuge is closed? What will she do then? She will go back is what. She might die. She will certainly die a little inside. She might stop trying to climb out of hell. She may stay there until she dies.
Women’s refuges are simple things. They save women from death and they save women from lived hell. Keeping them open is not simple. Wearside Women In Need face the closure of all 4 of their refuges. Their budget has been slashed to £0. Some domestic provision may exist in Sunderland they say. Not on the same level or the same funding. Women need a place to go when they reach the top of the mountain.
We can keep that door open with your help. People are the only ones who seem to care. The key politicians are too busy hurling insults and grabbling for their jobs next year. Women and men of the UK have to think of the woman half way up that mountain. Let’s make sure the door is open when she arrives.
Thank you again my wonderful people. You are just bloody great.
Please see below the details of the women I have ridden in honour of since the last update.
Have a wonderful evening,
Jean Hatchet x
Ride #20 for Dawn Green killed by her husband who then hanged himself.
Ride #21 for Carrie Ann Izzard who was fatally stabbed 29 times in the neck by her ex
Ride #22 for Lyndsey Smith – who was stabbed to death in the stomach by her ex who went off out having a nice time as she died after years of abuse.
Ride #23 for Lynn Freeman who was stabbed by her partner who murdered his ex partner, Jodie Betteridge, just minutes later.
Ride #24 for Jodie Betterridge who was stabbed 30 times in the head and 45 times in the torso – a total of 132 times altogether. The blade of the knife of the man’s knife broke off with the ferocity. He stabbed her on her front garden in front of her 3 children, one of whom ran around the sun screaming covered in her blood.
Ride #25 for Joanna Trojniak who was stabbed 6 times by a partner she was trying to leave. He than stabbed himself a tiny bit and ran into the street crying as an attempt to escape justice.
Ride #26 for Amina Begum who was killed by her son after “multiple incised wounds” according to the coroner.
Ride #27 for Natasha Sadler who was stabbed through the head and suffered other stab wounds after a man who lived in the same house was unhappy that she turned on a tap and his shower temperature changed.
Ride #28 for Laura Marshall who was murdered by her ex after months of abuse. He left her in a bath of her own blood, raped and covered in bruises.
Ride #29 for Tracy Cockrell whose partner strangled her and then set her on fire.
Ride #30 for Helen Bailey who was targeted during her grief for her dead husband and then manipulated by a new partner who then suffocated her and buried her in a cesspit under the garage – allowing police to search for her body for months. He killed her dog too and buried it alongside her.
Ride #31 for Leigh Ann Mahachi who was stabbed 40 times by her ex in the street outside her house. Her mother heard her screams as she died and came out to try to stop her blood with towels as her ex partner ran away.
Ride #32 for Jean Ryan who was stabbed to death by her husband.
Ride #33 for Nasreen Khan who was a care worker, stabbed to death with her 5 children in the house, because her husband did not like that she visited men as part of her job.
I'm sorry. For all the women and the fact that I have to write these lines.
Just a quick update. Please feel free to ignore. I am already so grateful to you for your support and wouldn't want to intrude on your many and varied, lovely Easter Sundays.
If you are still reading, might I just say how overwhelmed I am at the support I am getting? It helps to get me up those hills. This week I took a little break down to Cornwall but I got out on the bike every day because this matters to me more than anything else I am doing right now.
I won't lie. It is hard uploading these rides. I check the list - I'm kindly allowed to use Claire Moore's list - and then I find the details of how each woman died on the day I ride for her.
It is never less shocking. It is never less upsetting. I am never immune to feeling the weight of each woman on my back as I cycle up the hill. The day that struck me most recently was when I read about Lisa Reynolds. Lisa begged her boyfriend to stop stabbing her in front of her children because his knife was blunt. She begged him.... "Stop it Baz...the knife is blunt.."
Got to admit .... that one took my breath away and I cried a little outside the pub I'd stopped at to have a breather. How much pain was she in? How much disbelief? Terror? He stabbed her 17 times with a blunt knife. The hatred. The utter disregard for the damage to her children combined with callously stealing the life of the woman who loved him. I don't care why he did it. I don't care his excuses. I care that women like Lisa are helped sooner. I want women to be aware of how this starts and how it might end and I want them to have the appropriate help if they need it.
This starts with adequate refuges and properly trained, preferably feminist, staff. Feminists know this stuff harder and deeper than others. Many from personal experience. Feminists love other women very much. Men who love women are not afraid of feminist women.
This starts with government putting money where it is needed not words that we don't believe any more. Male violence against women is one of the biggest threats to the stability of life in this country. Not Donald Trump and his lies and bombs. The immediate and direct threat to the women of this country is when the future sisters, mothers and friends are stolen from us by men who should be stopped.
These men should have been stopped. These women should have been helped. I rode my lungs and heart out for every one of them and I won't stop. Thank you for supporting me and thank you for honouring the lives of these beautiful women with me.
Ride #10 - Sheila Jefferson - brutally murdered by her brother-in-law. 17 blunt force injuries to her face and also shot in the face.
Ride #11 - For Kerry Gascoigne who was strangled to death by her partner.
Ride #12 - for Leanne Wall head-butted and then strangled to death by her ex-partner
Ride #13 - for Maria Byrne who husband doused her in white spirit and then turned the gas on so she caught alight. She lived for 30 minutes.
Ride #14 - for Rose Hill who was strangled to death by her grandson who also killed her daughter.
Ride #15 - for Julie Hill who was axed in the face, had her teeth punched out and was then drowned in the bath by her nephew who had also murdered her mother.
Ride #16 - For Lisa Reynolds - stabbed 17 times by her boyfriend as she begged him to stop because the knife was blunt as her children watched.
Ride #17 - For Natasha Bradbury who was murdered by her ex who cracked her ribs, her neck, injured her brain and caused heart injuries.
Ride #18 - For Julie Archer who was doused in petrol and set alight by her brother - she lived for a while - long enough to tell a nurse that he did it.
Ride #19 - For Gemma Stevens who was murdered by her boyfriend who stamped on her head 11 times, stabbed her and set the house on fire to hide his cowardice and evil.
Ride #20 for Dawn Green - who was beaten as she tried to stay alive while her husband of 45 years strangled her before taking a stroll and returning to hang himself.
These are not "isolated incidents".
Many thanks for sticking with me. Wearside Women In Need are very grateful for all you are doing to help them save their refuges and save women from lives and deaths like those above.
Jean Hatchet x
So sorry to bother you and at the same time a little scared that you will think I'm not deeply appreciative of your incredible generosity.
I really am. The women at Wearside Women have also told me how incredibly grateful they are to you. It is a really quite marvellous thing that you have been part of. We are not only showing how much we love women but also how disappointed we are that our government does not love them enough. Money should be available to save women. Money should be available to fund refuges for them to escape. We need help not words. We need the voices of murdered women to scream at Westminster that their deaths were not in vain. I cannot thank you enough for helping them have a voice.
We realise that Sunderland are strapped for cash. But they cannot make a sacrifice of women for that. Government cuts have hit women and children hard and continue to do so. Does that have to mean that men get to hit women hard and the government both local and national can shrug their shoulders?
We won't let that happen. You have shown that you won't let that happen.
I thank you with all my heart for standing with us against the men that hurt women and the government that refuses to care.
Meanwhile I have continued to ride to honour the lives of the women who were killled by men in 2016. I have ridden 196 miles since 11th March and for the following women....
Bethany Hill - stabbed in the throat after torture by her ex and his partner
Caroline Andrews - Strangled to death by her husband leaving 4 children without a mother
Geraldine Newman - Beaten to death with a hammer whilst her children lay bleeding to death upstairs after her husband stabbed them.
Elidona Demiraj - Stabbed to death by a man known to her
Guida Rufina - Stabbed to death by her husband
Andrea Lewis - Stamped to death by her ex who then dragged her outside and left her to be found.
Lisa Jane Lyttle - strangled to death by her husband with a mobile phone cord
Georgina Symonds - strangled to death with twine after she dumped the man who had "bought" her for sex and said he loved her.
Katrina O Hara - Stabbed to death by her ex husband outside her place of work as she closed the shop. He had lain in wait for her.
I think of each one of these women as I ride and it is hard to know how much men hated them. How harrowing their final moments must have been. How they could have had such beautiful lives. How those lives were stolen.
I will continue to ride.