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Erin Pizzey

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Women's campaigner Erin Pizzey, © Daily Mail 2009
Born 19 February 1939
Occupation author

Erin Patria Margaret Pizzey (born 1939 in China, daughter of a diplomat) is a Irish family care activist and a novelist. She became internationally famous for having started one of the first[1] women's refuges (called women's shelters in the U.S.) in the modern world, Chiswick Women's Aid[wp], in 1971.[2][3]

Pizzey has been the subject of death threats and boycotts because of her research into the claim that most domestic violence is reciprocal, and that women are equally as capable of violence as men. Pizzey has said that the threats were from militant feminists.[4][5][6]

Erin is still actively working to help victims of domestic violence. In March 2007, Erin opened first Arab refuge for victims of domestic violence in Bahrain. In 2009 Erin said she has "never been a feminist, because, having experienced my mother's violence, I always knew that women can be as vicious and irresponsible as men."


  • (with Jeff Shapiro) Prone to Violence, Hamlyn, 1982, ISBN 0-600-20551-7




  1. Haven House in California was founded in 1964, seven years earlier than Pizzey's shelter (see About Haven House[webarchive]).
  2. Rappaport, Helen[wp] (2001). "Pizzey, Erin (1939- ) United Kingdom". Encyclopedia of women social reformers 1. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. p. 549. ISBN 1-57607-101-4. "In 1972 the center was visited by U.S. feminists, who set up similar ventures in the United States..."
  3. The organisation is known today as Refuge[wp]. "35 years of Refuge". Refuge. 2009. Archived from the original on 4 January 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
  4. Philip W. Cook: Abused Men. The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence., ABC-CLIO 2009, ISBN 0-313-35618-1,pp. 123-124
  5. Deborah Ross: Battered? Erin Pizzey? Yes, a bit, The Independent on March 10, 1997
  6. Erin Pizzey: Who's Failing the Family, The Scotsman on March 30, 1999

External links