Young Campaigner Award

War on Woman

I knew I had to make noise.

The Campaign

During the pandemic, as the world came to a stop, cases of sexual violence in Kira Charlton’s hometown of Epsom continued to rise. Kira set up a survey, asking 200 women and girls from Epsom about how safe they felt. The survey revealed a sense of unsafety in the area, and confirmed that something had to change.

Partnering with local artist Skye Phillips, Kira created a series of posters and artworks with quotes from local women and girls. Kira gathered a group of young women to march into Epsom town centre with the posters and make a public statement about the safety of women and girls.

The group then formulated demands for Epsom and Ewell Council – a drastic improvement in street lighting and the introduction of sexual violence awareness training as part of pub, club and bar licencing.

Sponsored by

Sponsored by Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust (Need to add in logo) Seek to bring about significant changes in the political system, making it more accountable, democratic and transparent and to rebalance power for the well-being of society.

The Change

The War on Woman Instagram account has become a safe space for women and girls to share their experiences of sexual violence in Epsom. Those testimonies fuelled a campaign for real change in Epsom, with War on Woman working with councillors, Surrey Police and the community on sexual violence issues, including police reporting and the impact of cuts to local services.

War on Woman created a community of young women who wanted change in Epsom. Gaining support from local politicians and coverage in the local press, War on Woman pushed the police and local council to commit to a new licensing law which required every venue in the area to have training on sexual violence and display “Ask for Angela” posters.


The Future

The response to the campaign spurred War on Woman to begin setting up a women and girls support group in Epsom, particularly in the face of service cuts in Surrey. The group are now planning for the end of lockdown, when they’ll begin offering a safe space for women and girls to empower, inspire and hear each other.

War on Woman continue to have conversations with Surrey Police about the reporting process for women and girls. They currently have posters up across Epsom to change sexual violence from a ‘women’s’ issue into a community one.

Their future plans also involve addressing the white van stereotype, something that came up consistently in their conversations with local women and girls. War on Woman are launching bumper stickers aimed at trade companies with vans to combat this issue.


Who else was involved?

  • My Life My Say Young Leaders programme
  • The Young Women’s Trust
  • Kira Charlton
  • Fredi Penniket
  • Taya Bennett
  • Tazmin Capery
  • Skye Phillips
  • Jenny Cottee