Board of Trustees
Gloucestershire Rape and Sexual Abuse Support’s board of trustees is made up of nine women, all committed to furthering the rights of women, within the context of sexual violence, and beyond. The board meets bi-monthly and is active in all aspects of our work from policy making to volunteering.
Cassie Agbehenu – Co-Chair
“I work as a Higher Education Policy advisor at the Higher Education Funding Council for England and Evidence, and Effective Practice Manager at the Office for Fair Access. I am passionate about women’s rights and liberation. I believe we all have a role to play in dismantling rape culture and misogyny, and am delighted to be a trustee of a women’s organisation, aside from campaigning. I am so happy to support Gloucestershire Rape and Sexual Abuse Support in having a successful future whilst making a real difference to people across the county.”
Mary Robinson – Co-chair
“My background is in human rights campaigning and NGO management. I worked previously as Deputy Secretary General of Amnesty International. I am now an independent consultant on child rights, specialising in strategy, management and evaluation projects, mainly in the international development sector. I am also a Director of a consultancy firm specialising in child protection and safeguarding, a member of the Independent Monitoring Board of women’s prison HMP Eastwood Park, and a Lay Chair for NHS Health Education South West.”
Louise Livesey – Treasurer
“I am Senior Lecturer in Criminology at University of Gloucestershire with a background in social science and Women’s Studies. My research is on sexual and domestic violence and women’s experiences of talking about childhood sexual violence. I have over 20 years’ experience working to make change in local communities, women’s rights and women’s lives. I co-founded Oxford Feminist Network and have blogged with The F Word. I enjoy working with such a vibrant organisation which has retained a commitment to activism and to valuing staff and volunteers alike.”
I work for UNISON, the public services union, as the Regional Women’s and Equalities’ Officer. My job is primarily about empowering women; ensuring their voices are heard, and that the union campaigns on issues that are relevant to women. For over 20 years I was a probation officer, supervising offenders, including sex offenders. I also had a specific role liaising with victims of sexual and violent crimes. As a Trustee, I am committed to ensuring the charity continues to thrive and provide a much-needed service to women in Gloucestershire.
“I work for a humanitarian aid organisation on issues of violence in conflict and post-conflict environments in African countries. The focus is on improving responses to survivors and protection mechanisms for refugee women and girls. Whether in conflict zones, or in Gloucestershire, I see the same issues for survivors – the myths, the minimising, legal responses that protect perpetrators, the stigma and the sense of shame. Survivors must be heard and supported to make sense of what has happened to them in ways that challenge the woman-blaming myths that surround rape and sexual abuse. Gloucestershire Rape and Sexual Abuse Support’s specialist services are critical in changing public opinion, policy and modelling best practice; we really hear what women tell us, and we can represent them.
“I am a Human Resources (HR) Manager within the NHS in Gloucestershire and a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, with more than 10 years’ experience in a wide range of HR issues including recruitment, organisational change, employment law and policy development. I want to use my skills to help Gloucestershire Rape and Sexual Abuse Support empower and support women and girls who are survivors of sexual assault or rape
“I am a Director with a company which specialises in providing leadership and strategy development for senior leaders of small and medium sized businesses in Gloucestershire and I am committed to helping local businesses to profitably grow and achieve their strategic aims. I trained as a solicitor and worked in the criminal justice system for twenty years during which time I specialised in the prosecution of sexual offences. I am keen to use my skills to help GRASAC to continue to support women and girls who are survivors of rape and sexual assault.”
“I’ve always considered myself to be a feminist but in recent years I have taken an active interest in reading feminist theory and finding out about feminist organisations and projects. Shocked by the numbers of women and girls who experience sexual violence, I jumped at the chance to work with GRASAC and assist with their incredibly important work supporting survivors. I hope to utilise the skills I developed as a solicitor, to help GRASAC continue to meet its objectives and strengthen this invaluable service.”
“I am currently a Civil Servant in Cheltenham and have a background in a variety of fields. I was a youth worker for twelve years, specialising in delivering sexual health and relationships workshops. I have also served in the Royal Navy, as well as the University regulator. I am a volunteer trustee, acting as a bridge between the Board and the volunteers, ensuring that we have cohesion and clear message for those we support. I volunteer both on the helpline and providing one to one support, and I am driven to see that the women of Gloucestershire have access to support when they need it.”