Photo by Josh Foster

16 Days – Max’s story

Over the past year, together we have helped hundreds of thousands of women and children to safety through our vital services and campaigning.

Our community of generous, passionate supporters make this work possible. Max Rathbone, one of those supporters, shares his story below.

Earlier this year I held a fundraising day for Women’s Aid at Second City Tattoo Club. It was a simple idea: I found a handful of tattoo artists who cared about the cause and brought them to my studio for the day. We had a selection of tattoo designs for our customers to choose from, and all payments that day were processed through a donations page we had set up for the event. We were also lucky enough to be supported by Starr Tattoo Supplies, who helped by sponsoring the event.

I decided to help Women’s Aid in memory of my mother, on the 20th anniversary of her death. When an abusive relationship ended in the worst way possible, my brother and I were left to be raised by our dad. He did a fantastic job but nothing could ever fill that hole left by my mother. She was an amazing woman who had a lot of friends, and she left us all with beautiful memories. Every time I go to a punk gig I meet a new person who knew her and has a new story about her.

At the start of the year I decided I wanted to do something that could help women in the same position she had been in. No kid should grow up without their mom, and a charity which can help prevent that seemed like such a worthwhile cause for me. One of my customers told me about Women’s Aid and I was instantly on board.

On the day, we raised an amazing £3700 for Women’s Aid. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my friends and fellow tattoo artists Paul Whysal, Isobel Stevenson, Mike Love, Lewis Weatherly, Emily Carrol and Penelope Gwen – they all worked incredibly hard to raise as much money as possible.

One thing I didn’t expect from “going public” with my story, besides the massive outpouring of support, was the number of people who disclosed that they had been survivors of domestic abuse. People are reluctant to talk about what they have been through, but the event allowed many of them to be open about it, and it helped them realise they aren’t alone. Being in a position to actively help other people is the best way to combat feeling like the victim. If you can help others, it lets you take back control of your own life.


Like Max, you can take action to help women and children. Click here now to find out what you can do.

If you’d like to set up your own fundraising event and need some advice, please contact [email protected].

© 2022 Women's Aid Federation of England – Women’s Aid is a company limited by guarantee registered in England No: 3171880.

Women’s Aid is a registered charity in England No. 1054154

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