Hallam women’s rights campaigner wins prestigious award

24th September 2021

A Sheffield Hallam University lecturer whose work has helped to transform the support for female victims of violence in India has won an Asian Women of Achievement Award.

Dr Sunita Toor, Head of Human Rights and Social Justice, won the award in the Social and Humanitarian category in recognition of her work leading a project to improve access to justice for women and girl victims of violence in India. 

Justice for Her is a collaborative effort with the Indian police across the vast and densely populated states of Delhi, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab.

Following its inception in 2016, Justice for Her developed and delivered an innovative and ground-breaking training programme for police officers and trainers in India, on how they can more appropriately and effectively deal with these cases of gender-based violence and secure justice for female victims.

Such has been the success of the project, the training is now included in the curriculum for many new police recruits in the four states, as well as rolled out to existing officers in the field. More than 10,000 officers receive the training each year.

Justice for Her continues as Dr Sunita Toor still works in India to combat gender-based violence.

Part of the project also included senior Indian police officers coming to the UK to see how British police officers tackle gender-based violence. As a result, the Madhya Pradesh state police force has committed to open 51 one-stop victim support centres for women – having seen a similar model when in the UK.

Dr Toor said: “I feel utterly honoured and delighted to be the winner. For me, the award really goes to all those wonderful individuals I've worked with in India, those who shared their stories with me and let me part of their experiences.

“Justice For Her was a collaborative effort and I am so proud of what we've achieved. Together we've been able to make some small steps towards combatting gender-based violence - and the mission continues.”

The Asian Women of Achievement Awards, founded in 1999, celebrate multi-cultural Britain and the contribution of diverse cultures and talents to UK society. They honour Asian women across the UK and across industries, who are making a valuable and important contribution to British life.

The Awards were held at the London Hilton on Park Lane on Wednesday night (22 September).

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