Welsh Women’s Aid CEO Honoured by Cardiff University

Welsh Women’s Aid are delighted to announce that our Chief Executive, Eleri Butler has received an Honorary Fellowship from Cardiff University!

Eleri is being awarded the Honorary Fellowship in recognition of her contribution to social change by working to prevent domestic violence, violence against women and promote equality for over 28 years.

Alongside Eleri, a world-class cricket player (Heather Knight OBE) a leading firefighter (Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton) and other eminent professionals will also be awarded Honorary Fellowships by Cardiff University, for outstanding recognition in their field.

In recognition of this award, Eleri said:

“I am delighted and honoured to be associated with Cardiff University as an Honorary Fellow for my work to improve responses and help prevent violence against women.

Cardiff University has a long tradition of promoting equality, being the first in the UK to appoint a female Professor of Education in 1910, and achieving women’s equality and ending violence against women go hand in hand. As a human rights issue, violence against women is a fundamental cause and consequence of inequality between women and men.

These are issues that are of vital concern for many students, universities and colleges today. So I’m pleased too that Cardiff University continues to lead the way in Wales by introducing a reporting system, access to counselling services and links with local specialist support for students, as well as training staff how to identify and respond to abuse.

We all know someone affected by abuse and we all have a responsibility to contribute to its eradication and prevention in whatever small way we can.

As a movement to end violence against women, who have seen many successes over the years, not least several laws introduced to help protect survivors of abuse and to hold perpetrators to account. We’ve also seen specialist services extend their reach, over 40 years, to continue to support survivors of abuse access protection and justice in spite of a lack of sustainable funding for this lifeline provision.

But we still have a long way to go, to ensure no woman is left behind and all survivors can access safety and support, to ensure that perpetrators are held to account, and that violence against women is no longer tolerated in our communities.

My work is not unique, and has been driven by values of fairness, equality, justice and respect. I have been privileged to work with fantastic women, who are also driven by strong values and a shared belief we can change the world for the better.

So this award is dedicated to them, to my feminist sisters and colleagues at Welsh Women’s Aid and across our national federation of local specialist services in Wales and the UK, for their continuing support, and to the one in three women who experience abuse at the hands of men they know. Their courage strength and determination to survive, flourish, and achieve real change that lasts, is humbling and inspiring.”

Eleri has worked for over 28 years in a variety of capacities on violence against women prevention, in charities and the public sectors at local, regional and national levels. This experience includes delivering front-line services, service development and multi-agency coordination, policy and campaigns, training, research, strategy and commissioning. As a longstanding advocate for social justice and equality, Eleri is committed to ensuring the experiences of survivors of violence are placed central in any work to prevent violence and abuse, and in 2007 Eleri was awarded the MBE for services to women and children experiencing domestic violence.