Celebrity supporters and inspirational survivors hit Claridges for 2011 Women’s Aid Awards

A host of top names turned out last night to celebrate the incredible achievements of the UK's most inspirational women at the Avon and Women's Aid Empowering Women Awards 2011, in Association with Marie Claire magazine

In association with Marie Claire magazine, the Avon and Women’s Aid Empowering Women Awards 2011 welcomed a host of famous faces last night to celebrate the incredible achievements of women who have experienced domestic violence in the UK.

The star-studded ceremony, held at the iconic Claridge’s Hotel in Mayfair, London, was attended by high profile supporters including Sarah Brown, Alesha Dixon and Faye Ripley who all presented awards to this year’s winners whose heart-warming stories left much of the audience in tears.

Empowering Womans Awards 2011
 
Now in their second year, the awards recognise the bravery and the achievements of women survivors of domestic violence and those who work tirelessly to support those affected by abuse.
 
This year’s winners were initially nominated by the public before being selected by a judging panel of leading women including Alesha Dixon, Sarah Brown, TV presenter Charlie Webster, senior vice president of Avon Anna Segatti, Women’s Aid chief executive Nicola Harwin, CBE and Marie Claire editor Trish Halpin.
 
Accepting her award for Woman Survivor of the Year, winner Sadi Khan said: ‘I am truly honoured. It was deeply touching to meet so many amazing women, and to hear about the great work they do in helping individuals move on from domestic violence.’

‘I wish I had met some of them in my time of hardship,’ she said. Khan, suffered psychological and physical abuse for five years following her arranged marriage at the age of 19.

She found the courage to divorce her husband and is now a strong, independent, businesswoman with a ten year old daughter, who nominated her for this award.
 
Other winners included Alec Hopkins who won Child Survivor of the Year, Dickie Chester-James, who picked up Marie Claire Campaigner Against Domestic Violence and Val Corbett who was recognized as ‘Grass Roots Hero’ for 36 years of unpaid work helping victims of domestic violence.

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