Great news! Thanks to over 3,000 people -- including you -- who signed the petition, Portsmouth City Council and Portsmouth Guildhall have cancelled the evening with "legendary figure" Mike Tyson -- a convicted rapist.
Aurora New Dawn were delighted to hear the announcement on Wednesday, just a few days after starting the petition. They believe this move illustrates Portsmouth’s commitment to ending violence against women.
They've been overwhelmed by the support shown for their campaign. CEO Shonagh Dillon said "Today is a proud day for Portsmouth, and we would like to thank Portsmouth City Council, Portsmouth Guildhall and every single person who put their signature to our petition."
In 1992 Mike Tyson was convicted for raping an 18 year old woman and sentenced to 6 years in prison. Yet the Guildhall Portsmouth has chosen Tyson as a guest of honour at a dinner event later this year with tickets costing up to £150. That's £150 for the pleasure of spending an evening with a rapist.
By inviting a convicted rapist to speak at one of the leading venues in Portsmouth the Guildhall goes against the hard work that the city has undertaken to ensure that survivors of rape feel valued, safe and believed. Aurora New Dawn are asking the Guildhall to cancel this event and show support to survivors of sexual violence rather than billing a convicted rapist as a hero in the city.
Women are more worried about rape than any other crime. The work that Aurora New Dawn and the White Ribbon group have done in Portsmouth in conjunction with other partner agencies consists of supporting people through the trauma of experiencing sexual violence which often leads to long lasting negative effects on both physical and emotional health and well-being.
Fewer than 6% of rapists are convicted for their offence. Victims and survivors struggle to be believed and – even when there is a conviction, as in this case – are still confronted with an organisation choosing to champion a rapist.
Please sign this petition in recognition of all survivors of sexual violence and abuse. We can't think of any other violent crime where a celebrity would be allowed to be celebrated in this way.