Nominate a woman who through a legal case has created change around violence against women
Centre for Women’s Justice in conjunction with the Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize announce a new award for a woman or organisation that has brought or defended a legal case which has challenged the state and had a wider impact around violence against women and girls.
Emma Humphreys was a young woman who suffered a horrendous history of abuse at the hands of men, from witnessing and experiencing domestic violence in the family home as a child, to running away and getting drawn into the world of child prostitution and pornography. Aged 16, she was selling sex on the streets of Nottingham and soon became controlled by a man, Trevor Armitage, a punter twice her age who soon became her pimp. She was known to social services and the police but nothing was done to protect her. She was gang raped at knifepoint and shortly after threatened with another rape by Armitage. She stabbed him fatally and was arrested and charged with murder. At trial, represented by an inappropriate male solicitor, she could not speak of the abuse she had been subjected to and was convicted of murder and, aged 17, detained for life at ‘her majesty’s pleasure’. Seven year’s later, following publicity around the cases of Sara Thornton and Kiranjit Ahluwalia, Emma wrote to the campaign group, Justice for Women, asking for help to appeal her conviction. In 1995, following a historic feminist campaign, Emma Humphreys was freed by the Court of Appeal and her case set a new legal precedent around the partial defence of provocation.
Sadly, Emma, who had been so damaged by her early childhood experiences and then by ten years’ incarceration where she had become addicted to the ‘chemical kosh’, died of an accidental overdose three years after her release from prison in 1998. Since then, her friends and the campaigners who supported her, set up the Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize, which has over the last twenty years awarded a £1000 prize to a woman and a group that has, through campaigning or writing, raised awareness of violence against women.
This year for the first time CWJ are joining forces with EHMP to include a special award for an individual or group who has used the law to hold the state to account around violence against women.
The deadline is 16 September 2019.
The Awards will be given at a special event at CWJ’s new base in Oxford House, Bethnal Green on the evening of 8th November. Save the date and watch out for further details of the event.