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 got involved with the Gloucestershire Rape and Sexual Abuse Support after learning more about the great work the charity does. I work as Regional South West Organiser for the Labour Party on campaigns and with the media: I bring these skills and experience to the charity.”
“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.”
“As a farmer’s daughter with four brothers, I learned that work done by the men was deemed more important than the work done by my mother and sisters. I trained as a teacher, and then as a Probation Officer. Over 40 years working with young people, I observed the waste of female potential due to negative role expectations, bullying, coercion, poverty, undiagnosed mental illness, sexual and domestic abuse etc. I challenge sexism, oppression and gender stereotypes to improve the status of women and girls. I am a member of an organisation which works with the UN to advance human rights and combat abuse and trafficking. This charity’s team of knowledgeable, dedicated workers and volunteers deserve praise and support for the valuable contribution they make supporting abused women.”
“In 1998 I became the country’s second Domestic Violence Co-ordinator for Rape Crisis England and Wales and have worked in the sector for much of my working life – in voluntary roles from giving support to families of people who self-injure to chairing a board of trustees; and professionally in roles including Development Officer and Director. I am a committed feminist and campaigner, and train other professionals in supporting victims of sexual violence. I am also a qualified hypnotherapist and life coach running a practice in the lovely Gloucestershire countryside.”