Denise Marshall, who has died of stomach cancer aged 53, was a passionate campaigner against male violence towards women and girls. During her lengthy career within the women’s sector, Marshall was the founder of an internationally acclaimed scheme, the Poppy Project, which housed and supported the victims of sex trafficking into the UK, and a number of other innovative projects that brought about real change for those who had experienced sexual assault and exploitation.
Marshall had been subjected to sexual and physical abuse during childhood. Her father died when she was two years old, and her mother married a man who, following a head injury, became violent. Between the ages of seven and 14, Marshall was regularly raped by her paternal grandfather. The abuse stopped after she stabbed him in the leg with a butter knife.
Born in Highbury, north London, to an Irish mother, Margaret, and Traveller father, Brian…
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