Spokesperson Network

Amanda Hailes

Part of Hull-based women’s collective An Untold Story, peer-researcher for AVA and Agenda, campaigning for women facing marginalisation

http://anuntoldstory-voices.com/

Amanda is part of a group of 12 women supported by the Lighthouse Project who came together to form a collective and share their experiences. They have all been involved in street prostitution in Hull and their book An Untold Story tells the stories of their lives through poetry, interviews, prose and artwork. They share their experiences of abuse, pain and loss and also of exceptional courage and hope. Originally a piece of research commissioned by funder Lankelly Chase, the stories were so powerful that they felt the voices of the women needed to be heard without analysis or interpretation and turned into a book. The women’s stories have now gone on to be featured in the media including BBC World Service, BBC Woman’s Hour and The Big Issue.  

Amanda has gone on to become a peer-researcher for Ava and Agenda, working towards change for other women experiencing multiple disadvantage. She appeared on ITV Yorkshire and Lincolnshire to talk about domestic abuse and the research findings. She campaigns to challenge Section 222 of the Local Government Act, which allows injunctions to be issues to people found loitering, soliciting or having sex in the Hessle Road area. If they continue their anti-social behaviour they have broken the injunction, and can be arrested, prosecuted, and even jailed. This has resulted in sex workers being forced out of sight, making their lives a lot more dangerous. Amanda shares her story to shatter the stigma and create understanding for women with similar experiences who face marginalisation. 

"Being involved with the Spokesperson Network is an experience I will never forget. It feels like I am part of an incredible, unique family. I have learned so much. I always come away with renewed passion, and the goal to keep going no matter how complex the issues I am trying to highlight."

Watch

Sharing our Stories to the Streets and Back

Amanda is represented a group of twelve women supported by the Lighthouse Project who came together to form a collective and share their experiences. They have all been involved in street prostitution in Hull and their recently published book An Untold Story tells the stories of their lives through poetry, interviews, prose and artwork. In her talk Amanda tells her story in her own way and in her own words to shatter the stigma and create understanding for women with similar experiences who face neglect and marginalisation.

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