Gracie Spinks' parents support march against violence – BBC


By Caroline Lowbridge
BBC News

A march calling for an end to violence against women is being held with the backing of the parents of murdered young woman Gracie Spinks.
The march is taking place in Chesterfield in Derbyshire, where the 23-year-old lived.
Her parents, Alison Heaton and Richard Spinks, will be attending and said the march had their full support.
It is due to begin at Shentall Gardens at 11:00 GMT, and people have been asked to wear purple.
"Our beautiful daughter Gracie was taken too early and lost her life," said Richard Spinks.
"As a family we do not want another family to go through what we have and are going through now.
"It's time for a change and we can do it if we all stand together."
Miss Spinks was among at least 141 women thought to have been killed by men in 2021, according to the Counting Dead Women project.
Labour MP Jess Phillips uses the project's data on International Women's Day each year, when she reads out a list of women killed in the past 12 months.
Miss Spinks was found fatally injured on the morning of 18 June, after she had gone to look after her horse Paddy in a field in Duckmanton.
She had previously complained to police about being stalked by former colleague Michael Sellers, and he is thought to have stabbed her to death before killing himself.
Her parents believe she was let down by police and have supported a petition for Gracie's Law, which asks for more funding so police forces can have stalking advocates.
"Changes need to be made across the board in all constabularies nationally," said Mr Spinks.
"Extra funding must be put in place to pay for dedicated advocates and trained personnel to deal with stalking victims' complaints, and specialists to deal with these victims initially and ongoing."
Derbyshire Police, which is being investigated over how it handled Miss Spinks' complaint of stalking, has announced that it intends to appoint a stalking coordinator.
Four officers have already been served with misconduct notices in relation to Gracie's death, and a fifth has been served with a gross misconduct notice.
The march has been organised by nurse Varria Russell-White, ahead of International Women's Day on Tuesday.
Ms Russell-White is part of a group which is holding simultaneous marches in Liberia and Nigeria.
In relation to what happened to Miss Spinks, she said: "It could happen to any of us. It could have been my daughter, it could have been me.
"We need to get together; we need to do something about this."
Speakers will include Toby Perkins, Labour MP for Chesterfield, who has backed the Gracie's Law campaign and gave a speech when the petition was debated in Parliament.
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