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June 2023 – Domestic Abuse – Orange the World – Volunteers Week – sexual health

Specialist Domestic Abuse Courts Report


This project, which began in 2017, aimed to provide an independent review of how the new Specialist Domestic Abuse Courts are working across England.  And more specifically to show how they could be made to work better for the victims of abuse, most of them women.

Soroptimists volunteers across England spent around 4,000 hours making observations at over 30 courts.  More than 1,000 questionnaires were completed and submitted from the observations. The final report (three have already been published) is now available. Together they form a pretty  comprehensive report on how the Specialist Domestic Abuse Courts are working across the country.

Soroptimists stand up as advocates for all women, but especially for those who have no voice. We acted as independent observers of these special courts as a way of helping the public to have confidence in them. But we also want to build public trust in our justice system by driving  improvements. The report contains our recommendations to that end.

If real improvements are to be made, lawmakers and decision makers must act on the evidence in the Report.  Please lobby your MP!

Orange the World campaign

You’re in a café and you see a group of women wearing orange… If it’s the 25th of the month, you can be sure they aren’t wearing a company uniform or this season’s top fashion colour.  They are drawing attention to the urgent need to end violence against women and girls.

The Women Against Violence (VAWG) group of the Woking Soroptimist International Club is leading this effort in our town.  It is inspired by the UNiTE Orange the World campaign to end violence against women and girls started by UN Women.  Soroptimists are raising awareness with Orange Café days across the UK.  We all have to make efforts to push for women’s rights in every country.

So next time you go for a coffee on the 25th, why not join the group and find out more?  They are keeping a place for you!


Volunteers Week

During the first week in June, the spotlight is on volunteers.  We thank them all for the work they do and the tremendous help they give to our community.

Our Soroptimist International members are all enthusiastic volunteers.  Katharine recently received her long-service award from 2022-3 SIWD President Barbara Roddy, She has volunteered for 35 years as a member of our Woking Soroptimist Club!

Disabled women and sexual health

…speaking of women’s rights, the BBC broadcast ‘The Conversation’ featured two women talking about the rights and needs of disabled women.

Listen to the broadcast here.


Plastic-Free Champions

A new initiative in Woking: positive recognition for businesses who reduce plastic.

Woking Environment Action have announced Plastic-Free Champions in Horsell. More here