Yesterday Ched Evans left prison after serving just half of his sentence and I just want to take a moment to say thank you so much for your support this week.
This petition has created a huge debate in the media that I hadn’t seen coming. When I started it I thought maybe just a few hundred women would sign it. Women who already know that male violence is a huge problem that needs to be stopped in the strongest terms by our judiciary, government, police and educators.
Now 150,000 people have signed it. It’s been supported by wonderful organisations like Women’s Aid and Rape Crisis who said barring Ched Evans would “send out a strong message condemning sexual violence against women”.
I started this petition because a jury found him guilty. He was not granted an appeal because the courts were convinced justice was served. Yet he still protests his innocence. He has benefited from the support of his website which reinforces the trauma of his victim by calling her a liar - and therefore calls the British justice system a liar too. The rest of his sentence needs serving when he gets out. He is not yet a totally "free" man. I believe he needs to repair the damage he caused and find a way to apologise to his victim and society.
If he were to return to high profile football it would send the message that rape isn't that big a deal.
I have been subject to vile abuse on Twitter for starting this conversation. It tells me why this debate is needed. If you speak out about male violence against women - you get yet more violence from men. This is wrong.
Let's not stop raising our voices about violence against women. Please keep sharing the petition: www.change.org/chedevans
Thank you again for your support,