The Bexhill and Battle branch of the Labour party hosted a lunch and afternoon workshop to remember the life and work of the late Batley and Spen MP, Jo Cox. The event was held at the Emmanuel Centre in Battle. Guest speakers at the workshop came from Eastbourne Survivors and the Sussex Police with the workshop organised to looking into ways of ending ‘rape violence’. At the end of the event, there was a vote on a motion which was sent to the National Policy Forum of the Labour Party.
Greta Vipond, the outgoing women’s officer was behind the event which had been inspired by a workshop she’d attended at the Labour Women’s Conference last year. Greta pointed out that rape has always seemed to be at the centre of violence against women and other vulnerable people in society and ending rape would undoubtedly help to curb the issue of violence against women.
Eastbourne Survivors is a charity that supports children who have been victims of sexual abuse and also adults who underwent abuse as children and Phil Johnson was at the event to speak on behalf of the organisation. Phil spoke of his own fight to get justice after undergoing abuse at the hands of clergy members at the Church of England. He stressed the need to talk about sexual abuse and rape so as to educate the rest of the public. Sam Fuller from the Safeguarding Investigation Unit of the Sussex Police welcomed the opportunity to discuss some of the disturbing cases she’d come across and she also supported the message that Phil was putting across.
She stressed the importance of more people coming forward to report incidents of rape and other forms of sexual abuse so the offenders could be discovered early and prosecuted. Greta also read out a support message from Bianca Jagger who is running a foundation that’s campaigning against violence against girls and women. Bianca also posted a message of gratitude later on social media to the Labour Women’s Group in the area who organised the meeting. During the meeting, the group unanimously passed a motion to end rape violence of any kind and in all parts of the world.
Jo Cox held the parliamentary position for slightly over a year before her violent death. During her brief tenure, she was a strong campaigner on many social issues.