A chance encounter with an abused wife and mother changed the life of one Twickenham resident forever when it inspired the creation of the first battered women’s refuge.

Now, 40 years on, Chiswick Women’s Aid founder Erin Pizzey, 72, has written an autobiography about her mission to help women and children who suffer domestic violence.

Ms Pizzey, of Lebanon Park, said she hoped people who read “This Way to the Revolution” would be inspired to continue helping to push for more sheltered provision and refuges for battered women.

She said: “We should celebrate as it is the 40th anniversary of women’s refuges.

“[But we still] need across England 20 or so big open door refuges and I want refuges for men as well as there are virtually none for the gay community.”

Ms Pizzey, a mother-of-two, helped set up the first battered women’s refuge in 1971 after meeting, and subsequently inviting into her home, a victim of domestic abuse at a community centre project in Belmont Terrace, Chiswick.

She said: “It all started because a woman [who had been beaten] heard a community centre was open and just walked in.

“Then like osmosis other women came to the centre - it was very frightening really as more and more women came to us as they were not happy going to social services as the most anyone could do there was put them in local homeless hostels and partners knew they were there.

“Women started to come in with children and before long we were packed to the ceilings.

“[The community centre] had four rooms and at night there were something like 56 mothers and children staying.”

After the community centre became a refuse Hounslow council tried to evict them but court cases failed and before long Women’s aid had sparked the creation of women’s refuges across the country and the globe - with the first Arab state refuge opening in Bahrain just six year ago.

Ms Pizzey said: “We took the mothers in and then mothered the mothers so they could in turn mother their children.

“[And as people became involved] it was so good for the mothers to see these people come to the refuge as it made them feel important not just like something on the bottom of someone’s shoes.”

Ms Pizzey will be on hand to answer questions about her book at Waterstone’s in Chiswick from 3pm on Saturday.

For more details about Ms Pizzey or Chiswick women’s aid visit erinpizzey.com.