A campaigner against violence towards women, who has been made an MBE, said the issue “resonated” in 2021 due to a number of high-profile cases.
Fiona Mackenzie, the founder of We Can’t Consent To This, a campaign group set up in response to “consensual” violence claims against women, has been included in the New Year Honours for raising awareness of the issue.
It comes after a year which saw the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard, the suspected murder-suicide of Gracie Spinks and the deaths of police community support officer Julia James and teacher Sabina Nessa.
Ms Mackenzie told the PA news agency: “I’m really amazed and very humbled, I didn’t expect the honour, but I’m grateful that the work of so many women across the political spectrum has been recognised.
“Awful things have happened to women this year but are starting to now push back against this issue, it’s extremely humbling after the work and efforts of everyone over the past year.
“We changed the law in Westminster regarding this issue and I hope a changing of attitude begins to happen. I appreciate this takes time but men in our society shouldn’t be doing some of the horrendous things we’ve seen.
“Violence towards women in public spaces has been seen in high-profile incidents this year. If we look at what happened to Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa, they really resonated with people who believe these awful things shouldn’t be happening in our society.
“This year has been a really big step for recognition about how serious this is, the news has been horrible, but finally these crimes are being recognised for how awful they truly are.”
The murder of Ms Everard, 33, in Clapham, south London, by off-duty police officer Wayne Couzens saw wide-scale protest over women’s safety, resulting in an additional 180,000 contributions to the Government’s Violence Against Women and Girls strategy.
Furthermore, the Government’s first Rape Review, published this summer, resulted in the rollout of justice scorecards designed to show how well cases are being handled.
The year also saw the conviction of Danyal Hussein for the murder of sisters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman in 2020.