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February 2023 – Show The Love – Your Sanctuary – Earthquakes – Public Sexual Harassment

Public Sexual Harassment

The UK government has decided to make a new law against public sexual harassment.  More on this page.

This month, Stella Creasy MP has written an article on this subject in The Guardian newspaper.  She suggests a change to the proposed new law.  At the moment, people accused of public sexual harassment can say ‘I didn’t think it was wrong’ or ‘I didn’t mean it’ or ‘It was in fun’.  According to the MP, such excuses should not be accepted.   The world will improve if we all think before we speak and act.

Syria and Turkey Earthquakes 

Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) has published a statement about the earthquakes. Read it here: February 8, 2023

The Red Cross have opened an appeal. SIGBI has made a donation of £2,000. If you wish to donate please visit the Red Cross website:

The thoughts and prayers of all Soroptimists are with all those in Syria and Turkey, especially our Soroptimist sisters, who have been affected by the two powerful earthquakes which hit both countries in the space of 12 hours.

February – the month to Show The Love

This month the Climate Coalition is running the Show The Love campaign.   They ask us to show our love for the planet in as many ways as we can.

Members of SI Woking raised awareness with their ‘Green-hearted Soroptimist’ team at the York Road Project Quiz in early February.  Green hearts were in abundance at our table!  York Road Project helps the homeless in Woking.  The well-attended quiz raised a whopping £900!

Your Sanctuary

Fiamma Pather, CEO of Your Sanctuary gave us an update at our February Social Meeting.  Ms Pather first reminded us of the patterns of coercive behaviour that can be typical of abusers.  She went on to describe the ways Your Sanctuary has to help victims.  There are not only refuges – there is a lot of outreach work as well.  Your Sanctuary increasingly wants to make it easy for victims to ask for help.  A new development in this regard is the offer of an online chat as well as the more usual telephone helpline.

Of course, getting money to pay for the charity’s services is always a concern.  So members were glad to learn about some new funding in the pipeline. The Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey, Lisa Townsend, has secured almost £1million from the Government!  The money will pay for a package of support for young people.  The aim is to offer young people information and training in what make a good or a bad relationship.  Raising awareness in this will should help to combat violence against women and girls in Surrey.

Woking Soroptimists gave Ms Pather a collection of cleaning materials and products for the Surrey refuges.