In January this year, Bristol Women’s Voice discovered that The Marriott Hotel Bristol is hosting ‘An Evening With Floyd Mayweather’ on the 8th of March 2017, which is also the date of International Women’s Day. Mayweather is a man who has long history of violence against women, including several convictions and Bristol Women’s Voice does not believe we should be providing a platform for him to speak and sell his image. In February 2016 the Colston Hall cancelled a similar event after objections from women’s charities and groups. Ashton Gate, who were previously hosting, canceled the event stating that it went against the family values of the club and stadium.

A petition has been created to urge the Marriott Hotel to cancel the event. You can sign the petition here.

There will also be a protest outside the Marriott Hotel – details can be found here.

On 30th January 2017, Bristol Women’s Voice wrote an open letter to Marriott Hotel, City Centre Bristol. A copy of the letter is below:

To whom it may concern,

It has come to our attention that the Marriott Hotel is hosting an event called ‘an evening with Floyd Mayweather’ on the 8th of March 2017, which is also the date of international women’s day. In February 2016 the Colston Hall cancelled a similar event after objections from women’s charities and groups. Tour events in other cities including Cardiff were also cancelled, and Jonathan Ross pulled out of hosting the event. 

Mayweather is a man who has long history of violence against women, including several convictions. We do not believe that the Marriott Hotel should be providing a platform for him to speak and sell his image, especially on a day celebrating the achievements of women. The idolising of a dangerous perpetrator of domestic violence is unacceptable and we believe you should cancel your event.

Over fourteen thousand women and girls aged sixteen to fifty nine suffered from Domestic Violence in Bristol last year. In a time of austerity when services for domestic violence are being cut, and still two women a week are dying in the hands of male ex/partners, we believe providing Mr Mayweather with a platform to speak, particularly without questioning him about his violent, misogynist acts, gives a dangerous and damaging message to the public.

As a community we must stand together against violence against women and challenge the idea that talent and money make it excusable. By not providing Mayweather with a platform we can make that stand and choose to tell him and others that his actions and behaviour are not acceptable. Many of the women that face domestic violence do not have a platform to speak from and we believe that seeing Mr Mayweather speak and be celebrated will further their suffering and anxiety and reconfirm that actions such as his are acceptable. Those who face domestic violence often have a long and difficult recovery suffering from social stigma and lack of action by officials and we do not want them to feel that access to justice is dependant on celebrity status.

We should remember that one in three women globally will experience violence at the hands of a partner. Domestic Violence is not a rare incident and we must all take action to put an end to it.

We urge you to take this matter seriously and cancel your event. If you choose to go ahead with the event you risk damaging your otherwise good name.

We look forward to your response on this matter.

Yours Faithfully,

On behalf of:

Bristol Women’s Voice

SARSAS (Somerset and Avon Rape and Sexual Abuse Support)

Bristol Fawcett

Bristol Sisters Uncut

On 1st February, Bristol Women’s Voice received the following response:

Thank you for taking the time to share your concerns with me.  We are a hospitality company that simply provides public accommodations and function space.  Acceptance of business does not indicate support, or endorsement of any group or individual.

Disappointed with this response, Bristol Women’s Voice wrote another letter to the Marriott, again urging them to reconsider. A copy of this letter is below:

We are wholeheartedly disappointed by your response that the Marriott Hotel is “a hospitality company that simply provides public accommodations and function space.  Acceptance of business does not indicate support, or endorsement of any group or individual.”

Having reviewed Marriott Hotels website, we would like to draw your attention to your Corporate Responsibility, Core Values and Heritage pages whereby it states:

“We demonstrate our purpose, values and principles of responsible business through policies on employment, human rights, environment, supply chain, and in the conduct we uphold and expect of others.”

“We Act with Integrity

How we do business is as important as the business we do.

We hold ourselves to uncompromising ethical and legal standards. This extends to our day-to-day business conduct, our employee policies, our supply chain policies, our environmental programs and practices, and our commitment to human rights and social responsibility.”

We ask that you please clarify how these principles of “responsible business” and “uncompromising ethical standards” is in keeping with your decision to host Floyd Mayweather on International Women’s Day?

Further, we would like to draw your attention to some other points to take into your consideration. As we previously explained in our initial letter, many women in Bristol suffer from domestic violence but we also wanted to draw your addition to the fact that statistically, there may be employees of the Marriott Hotel City Centre too that are impacted by domestic violence. The Corporate Alliance Against Domestic Violence have produced a handy calculator that helps you assess the cost impact of domestic violence on your workforce – we recommend that you look at this tool which is available to view here.

In addition, we want to draw attention to the impact domestic violence has on the workplace. The lost economic output of women affected, costs the UK £36.7bn annually. The cost to UK businesses is over £1.9 billion annually. In the UK in any one year, more than 20% of employed women take time off work because of domestic violence and abuse, and 2% lose their job as a direct result of the abuse. 56% of abused women arrive late for work at least five times and 58% miss at least three days of work a month. On average, workers who experience domestic violence miss 26% more work time due to absenteeism and lateness than workers who do not experience violence.

As an employer, the Marriott has a legal obligation and responsibility to support and protect your employees. You must adhere to legal requirements around health, safety and the mitigation of harm to the physical and emotional wellbeing of employees. You have a duty of care to the people you employ, for example ensuring anti-harassment, discrimination, and bullying within your codes of conduct. By hosting Mayweather, you are compromising the duty of care are that you give to your staff.

Again, we ask you to re-consider your decision to host Mayweather at the Marriott on International Women’s Day.

Yours Faithfully,

Bristol Women’s Voice

Bristol Women’s Voice has also written to the event sponsors asking them to reconsider sponsorship:

Sam FM

Bristol Blue Glass

Level Crooks

Whats on Bristol

Greyhound Print

Central Chambers

As of date of publication of this post, we are yet to receive a response from any of the sponsors, nor a further response from the Marriott Hotel.


On February 27, the Bristol Post announced that it was pulling out of holding the Women of the Year Awards 2017 on March 9 at the Marriott Hotel, City Centre. Instead, it is now being hosted at an alternative venue. More details can be found here.

On February 28, the following businesses and organisations have joined BWV as signatories to the open letter to the Bristol Marriott:

  • UNISON University of the West of England
  • Bristol University Student’s Union
  • The University of West of England
  • Hollie Gazzard Trust
  • Bristol Disability Equality Forum
  • See it From Her
  • One25

Bristol Women’s Commission launched on International Women’s Day the Zero Tolerance campaign for Bristol to become a city with a zero tolerance approach to gender-based violence, abuse and exploitation.

Bristol Women’s Voice is hiring for:

A Communications Assistant to provide effective communications and administrative support for this initiative. For more detailed information, please download the Job Description – Communications Assistant.

For any queries, please contact

To apply, please complete the applications form and return to

Deadline is midnight of 7th October 2016.

Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted by 5pm 10th October 2016.

Interviews will be held at Brunswick Court, Brunswick Square on Wednesday 12th October 2016.

Users of a Bristol cycle track may have seen some unusual posters on their way to work this morning. Bold black and white images of women with slogans like “Women are not outside for your entertainment” and “My outfit is NOT an invitation” can be seen along the Bristol to Bath Cycle Path and at other locations in Easton. The action is part of an international movement of activists taking part in “World Wheat Pasting Night”. The event was created by the New York artist, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh. Her ‘Stop Telling Women to Smile’ art series draws attention to street harassment by placing drawn portraits of real women and their words outside in public spaces.

Rachel, a local activist, part of a local group of women taking part said:

“It feels so good and exciting to do something positive and visible like this. I loved seeing the posters in my area last year, so I thought I would take part in the 2016 event. I really want to educate people to know that it isn’t ok to harass women in the street.”

For more information about International Wheat Posting Night go to

Our third key priority is our wo-manifesto is Safety. 

What do we mean by this?

We want to make Bristol a city free from any form of gender-based violence, abuse, harassment of exploitation by becoming a Zero Tolerance City with:
– a greater understanding of gender-based violence
– enhance specialized and appropriate support services that adequately meet the needs of all women and girls
– high quality work on prevention and education around gender-based violence, gender stereotyping and discrimination.

What are the key issues in Safety?

We have produced a handy infographic to highlight some of the key issues for women.


So what needs to change?

We have identified some calls to action that we believe will bring about change to Bristol women’s safety.


Who? Call to Action
All local employers All employers sign our zero tolerance pledge
ASPolice, Local transport providers, Bristol Courts of Justice, CPS, The Law Society Greater consistency in training of Police Officers, judges, lawyers and local transport systems
ASPolice, Bristol City Council Local authorities to tackle street harassment
Bristol City Council Nil-cap on Sexual Entertainment Venues
National and local government, NHS Improved access to specialized support, including mental health services
National and local government Commitment to ensure future of specialized services
Bristol City Council Creation of a Gender-Based Violence Prevention Commissioner and funding for post of Crime Reduction Project Officer, Prevention of Violence and Abuse Against Women and Children
Advertising Standards Authority, national government Regulation of harmful images in the media, age restrictions accessing pornography
Bristol City Council City-wide advertising and licensing policy
National and local government Appropriate Access to Justice and Support for victims
Local media organisations Local media providers to tackle cultural misconceptions
See Education Compulsory adequate Sex &Relationships Education, all schools to sign up to Bristol Ideal, embedding of Intervention Initiative


What do you think are the key issues for women in regards to Safety?

What would you like to see included?

Tweet us @BWV2 using #BristolWomensVote

November 25 is the UN day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Why this day?

According to the United Nations:

  • Violence against women is a human rights violation
  • Violence against women is a consequence of discrimination against women, in law and also in practice, and of persisting inequalities between men and women
  • Violence against women impacts on, and impedes, progress in many areas, including poverty eradication, combating HIV/AIDS, and peace and security
  • Violence against women and girls is not inevitable. Prevention is possible and essential
  • Violence against women continues to be a global pandemic. Up to 70 per cent of women experience violence in their lifetime.

So what about Bristol?

Based on a population of 432,500 (ONS 2012 Mid-Year Population Estimate), the Home Office estimates that14,273 women and girls aged 16-59 in Bristol have been a victim of domestic abuse in the past year. The figure is much higher if we include women above 60 years old and men of any age.

In addition, compared to other core cities in England, Bristol is ranked the third highest reported for sexual offences per thousand population. Estimates suggest that 43,340 women in Bristol are likely to have been raped or sexually abused at some point in their lifetime.

90% of UK responses to Hollaback‘s international survey on street harassment in 2014 said they first experienced harassment on the street before reaching the age of 17, and 63% of women reported that they had been groped or fondled within the last 12 months.

Sexual exploitation has also been highlighted as a key issue in Bristol with a number of high profile cases. Exploitation constitutes a form of coercion and violence, detrimental to the person’s physical and mental health and can include sexual or economic exploitation.

We don’t have any specific statistics for Bristol but in the UK over 2,400 children were victims of sexual exploitation in gangs and groups between 2010 and 2011 and over 230 children were known to be trafficked for sexual exploitation in 2014. In 2014, 2,340 people were also identified as potential victims of trafficking, 671 of these were children.

So what can we do about it?

There are a series of events starting on November 25 and continuing across the 16 Days Call to Action ending 10 December.

Please get involved, show your support, raise awareness and fundraise!

If you would like to add an event here, please email us


ZT brochure imageBristol Zero Tolerance – What does it mean to you?
Thursday, November 26th
12:30- 2:30pm, the Unitarian Chapel, Brunswick Square, BS2 8PE


This is an opportunity for women to come together to discuss what Bristol becoming a city with a Zero Tolerance to gender-based violence, abuse, harassment and exploitation would mean to them and what needs to happen for this to become a reality.

This will feed into the new Bristol Zero Tolerance initiative and allow women to raise the issues that are most important to them and where they think the most change can be made across the city. You can also take part in the Bristol Zero Tolerance photo campaign as part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.

Bristol Zero Tolerance is a new initiative working towards Bristol becoming a city free from gender-based violence, abuse, harassment and exploitation. Bristol is the first city in England to take on this challenge and we hope that it will inspire other cities to implement similar initiatives. We are working with the City Council and other bodies to bring together existing action on gender-based violence across the city and are encouraging and supporting other organisations to sign up and take action on this important issue.

This is a lunch-time event so that women can drop in at any point during their lunch break and also to avoid women travelling in the dark. Refreshments will be served.

This event is for those who identify as women and who live, work or study in the city of Bristol.

How to book:
To book your place at the event please contact and let us know if you have any access or dietary requirements.

women's aidDomestic Abuse: It’s Your Business
Thursday 3rd December
10:30 to 15:30, M Shed, Princes Wharf, Wapping Road, Bristol, BS1 4RN


Working in partnership with Bristol Zero Tolerance, Women’s Aid are launching a new initiative with Bristol City Council, Domestic Abuse: It’s Your Business at the M Shed on Thursday 3rd December.

Women’s Aid will be working with local businesses in Bristol and across Avon and Somerset to provide free training on the impact of domestic abuse. We will provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills to respond effectively to any employee that may be experiencing domestic abuse and to make the workplace an environment in which employees feel encouraged and safe to disclose.

For more information click here.

candlelit marchNext Link Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Services Candlelit March
Wednesday 25th November

4:30pm, Queens Square, Bristol

The march is part of End Violence against Women Week and Thursday 25th November is a pivotal date within the week and marks the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence against women.

The procession will leave Next Link, 5 Queen Square at 4.30pm and make its way to College Green. Here, at 5pm, two larger candles will be lit to symbolise the two women who die each week through domestic abuse in this country. There will also be a minutes silence for gatherers to pay their respects to those whose lives have affected by domestic abuse, rape and sexual assault.

If you can please bring a jam jar or portable tealight holder- tealights and hot chocolate will be provided before the march.

reclaim the nightReclaim the Night
Friday 27th November 
7pm, Queens Square


On 27 November University of Bristol Student’s Union will be taking to the streets of Bristol as part of Reclaim the Night, a national movement against sexual violence and for gender equality.

It will be starting at 7pm at Queen’s Square and end at Bristol Student’s Union where there will be stalls and music etc.

For more info click here.

end it nowEnd it Now
Tuesday 24 November,
Students’ Union Frenchay, Union 1 Engagement Space, 17:30 – 19:00


End It Now is a student led campaign seeking to support UWE students when faced with sexual violence, domestic violence, hate crimes and harassment. We want to make sure EVERY student feels safe, supported and empowered.Discuss the campaign, how you can get involved, ideas for events and activities, meet others passionate about making change or simply find out more! Click here to email for more info.


If you would like to add an event here, please email us

Bristol Women’s Commission launched on International Women’s Day the Zero Tolerance campaign for Bristol to become a city with a zero tolerance approach to gender-based violence, abuse and exploitation.

Bristol Women’s Voice is hiring two positions:

1. A Partnerships Project Officer to develop and work on this initiative. The successful applicant will work with current and new businesses and organisations across the city to help them develop a set of actions to improve the prevention of, and response to gender-based violence. They will work to develop and support partnerships to ensure that action plans are developed and adhered to.

The Project Officer will also be responsible for the communications of the intiative, and will provide support to develop a series of tools, resources and campaigns to tackle perceptions and atittudes around gender-based violence in Bristol.

For more information, please download the Job Description – Project Officer.

For any queries, please contact

Deadline is midnight of 31st August 2015. To apply, please complete the Application Form and return to

Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.

Interviews will be held at Brunswick Court, Brunswick Square on Monday 7th September 2015.



Words by BWV Reporter Jessica Wright

As part of the Bristol Pride Festival, a forum was held on the topic of domestic violence in LGBT relationships. The aim of the forum was to start creating about a rarely discussed topic, and to share resources available to LGBT people experiencing abuse.

Led by Marianne Hester, Mike Steven, Tiffany Cunningham and Luke Martin, the recurring theme was how underreported abuse is, and the lack of resources available for people needing help. Support for domestic abuse in general has suffered from budget cuts, and the majority of help available is for heterosexual women being abused by men.


The Empowerment Network is looking for a new member to join their Board of Trustees in the role of Secretary. The Secretary holds a key role, together with the Chairperson, of organising the meetings and ensuring the general smooth running of the organisation. The Secretary monitors members of the Board of Trustees to ensure that they have carried out any actions they agreed to at a meeting. The Secretary is also responsible for making sure that the administrative requirements of regulating bodies (The Charity Commission and HMRC) have been fulfilled.

Overall Responsibilities

– Monitor member action points.
– To ensure that the requirements of the Charity Commission are met, such as that committee meetings are properly administered and recorded, that the list of Trustees at the Charity Commission is kept up-to-date, to ensure that Board Meetings, the AGM, EGMs and any other committee meetings are properly administered.
– that membership (Trustee) records are kept up-to-date.
– that annual returns and annual reports are made to regulating bodies as appropriate and in the correct format.

Specifics of Role

– Plan and prepare the board meetings and the AGM with others as appropriate.
– Ensure that committee meetings and the AGM are run according to the constitution and regulating body requirements.
– Ensure voting procedures are followed correctly.
– Planning meeting dates, booking rooms, sending out notifications, minutes and other papers.
– Drawing up agendas together with the Chairperson.
– Minute committee meetings or ensure that another minute taker is available.
– Ensuring that board meetings including decisions and actions are adequately minuted and report to the next board meeting on the progress of actions and the result of decisions.
– Ensure accurate and up-to-date membership records are maintained in accordance with the constitution and Charity Commission requirements.
– Issuing membership renewal notices and managing member election processes.
– Ensure nominations for membership are received in time and in the correct format.
– Deal with correspondence, writing letters/emails as agreed at board meetings, summarising correspondence/emails received at the next board meetings and drafting replies as appropriate.
– Ensuring that any required business is dealt with (such as appointment of auditors).
– Make arrangements for any necessary reporting to be done. For example the annual report to members.
– Ensure that the annual return and annual reports are submitted to the Charity Commission on time.

Qualities Required

– To be organised and methodical
– Able to take good minutes.
– Able to keep accurate records.
– Has the relevant skills to organise a meeting well.
– Have knowledge of the law relating to the Company Secretary’s role.
– Have a good knowledge of the organisation’s own constitution.
– Able to give clear advice on procedural matters.

About The Empowerment Network UK

They are a  the national charity supporting third parties of domestic abuse.

Their mission is to help, support and empower third party witnesses of domestic abuse to better manage and cope with their experiences, to move forward equipped with the necessary tools to protect themselves and to better understand and aid victims.

The Empowerment Network UK supports all types of third parties including family members, friends, health workers, GPs, police officers, civil servants, or any other person that is a third party to a situation of domestic abuse in the UK.

They also undertake research into the third party aspects of domestic abuse both in-house and in collaboration with research institutes where we focus on intervention and educational outcomes.

Their charitable objects are:

To advance the education of the public in the subject of the role of the bystander in situations of domestic abuse.

Through research, to advance the education of the public in general (and particularly among scientists) on the subject of the bystander role in domestic abuse and to promote research for the public benefit in all aspects of that subject and to publish the useful results.

To promote to bystanders, for the benefit of the public in the UK with a view to the preservation of public order and the reduction of acts of crime related to domestic abuse, the provision of services available to victims, so that bystanders may better aid victims of domestic abuse in their path to safety, recovery and beyond.

To promote and protect the physical and mental health of sufferers of domestic abuse in the UK through the provision of support, education and practical advice to bystanders.

To advance the education of the general public in all areas relating to the impact of domestic abuse on bystanders and the role of the bystander in situations of domestic abuse.

What are they looking for?

Due to this role carrying a high responsibility, we are looking applicants who have held the position of Secretary previously as a Board member. The Empowerment Network UK is a CIO structure and we report only to the Charity Commission (not to Companies House).

Ideally you will be from an accounting or legal background, however this is not essential if you are an experienced Trustee or have held the role of Secretary of the Board before.

Please apply via emailing your C.V. with a covering letter directly to Davinia Bulford-Cooper on

Practical Considerations

This is a 3-year Trusteeship and the Secretary must attend board meetings to be able to fulfil their duties. Current dates set for meetings going forward are:

Saturday 26th September 2015 at 11 am.
Saturday 30th January 2015 at 11 am.
Saturday 30th April 2016 at 11 am (provisional AGM date).