A South Yorkshire mum who has been campaigning to improve the rights of children of abusive fathers after both her sons were murdered has been nominated as a modern Suffragette by a Sheffield MP
Angela Smith MP nominated Claire Throssell, from Penistone, near Barnsley, for the Amnesty International campaign which is being run in partnership with The Star.
The aim is to mark 100 years of women being given the vote by highlighting modern women with Suffragette Spirit, who have fought to improve the human rights of others.
The nominated women will be profiled on an interactive map of the UK which will tell more about their work in their communities to help others.
Claire lost both her sons Jack and Paul Sykes, aged 12 and nine, in 2014.
They died after their father Darren, 44, lured them to the attic of their family home with the promise of a new train set, before setting fire to the house. Sykes also died in the blaze.
The children were on a weekend access visit to their father after the couple separated.
Claire had previously warned a judge her husband would either kill or seriously harm their boys.
Since their deaths Claire has campaigned on behalf of domestic abuse victims and said that ‘children’s voices needed to be heard’.
Earlier this year she handed a petition into 10 Downing Street calling for a change in the law governing access to children.
More than 40,000 people have signed the petition, supported by Women’s Aid, which calls for ‘the government and family courts to ensure there are no further avoidable child deaths as a result of unsafe child contact with a perpetrator of domestic abuse’.
Steve Smith, from Angela Smith’s office said: “Claire’s campaign is focused on putting children first, but at the heart of it is the concern that domestic violence is not taken seriously enough by the courts, to the extent that currently victims of domestic violence can be cross-examined by their abusers.
“Given what she has gone through, with the murder of her two boys Jack and Paul, I think Claire deserves recognition beyond any woman I know.”
Angela said: “I applaud this initiative by The Star. It took nearly half a century for the Suffragette campaign to secure the vote and many women made huge sacrifices for the cause. ”
* To nominate a woman in your local area, please visit www.amnesty.org.uk/suffragettespirit. All women must have carried out work to help others in their local area within the last 10 years. All successful nominees will be contacted to give consent before being placed on the Suffragette Spirit Map of Britain.