Erin Pizzey is known for having started the first refuge in Britain for women and children fleeing violent partners; by the time she was through, there were refuges all over the country. To begin with she worked with the Women’s Liberation Movement in its early days, but there was a fundamental disagreement in her perception of family violence and theirs. To them, it was simple: brutal men against suffering and downtrodden women; but Pizzey knew it was more complicated than that. Having been abused by her own mother, she understood that women could be violent too.
There were also, when she started, links with the extreme Left. Pizzey was certainly never a Tory, and wrote to Conservative headquarters for a picture of Mrs Thatcher when she was Education Secretary in order to create