Author: laurenwise

Savera UK Clients Celebrate International Women’s Day 2022

In March, Savera UK marked International Women’s Day by holding a celebratory lunch for our amazing clients, who continually overcome hurdles in the face of adversity and are testament themselves of how we can #BreakTheBias caused by gender inequality.

Savera UK clients include both those at risk of, and survivors of, ‘honour’-based abuse (HBA), forced marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM) and other harmful practices. These practices are violations of human rights and are borne from deep-seated patriarchal ideologies which oppress women.

While Savera UK supports people of all genders, the majority of our clients are women, which is why it’s important for us to celebrate International Women’s Day and the strides that continue to be made to eliminate harmful practices and gender-based abuse.

To celebrate the day, Savera UK brought together the women we support for a Middle Eastern banquet where we celebrated their strengths, while looking towards a brighter future for all women.

Savera UK clients enjoyed a delicious feast at the International Women’s Day celebration

Speaking about  the lunch, one Savera UK client said: “I enjoyed that I was able to meet together with other women who are from diverse backgrounds and to watch how they felt happy with the gathering.” She also added: “I felt honoured for being valued on that day.”

Savera UK support worker Emma said: “It is important to remember how fantastic women are and to celebrate our strengths on a day like International Women’s Day.

“It counters the narrative that many of our clients have been led to believe within their communities, which can hold misogynistic and harmful attitudes towards women. It is great to help them build their confidence and see their strengths that have often been overlooked or even shamed.”

Describing the atmosphere at the lunch, Emma said: “it felt like a celebration, it was lovely, united and positive” adding that it was “very rewarding to be able to offer some normality” and “made all the preparation worth it”.

Unfortunately social work student Taylor, who helped organise the event was unable to attend, but we would like to thank her for her work in bringing together the event.

Savera UK CEO Afrah Qassim reflects on 2021 as “a small but mighty organisation”

Savera UK founder and CEO Afrah Qassim

“It feels like a long time since we celebrated the end of 2021 and welcomed 2022. Already we have lots to look forward to and I hope it’s the same for you. I want to take this opportunity to reflect on Savera UK’s 2021, including our achievements and obstacles. The beginning of 2021 brought new challenges from the outset, as the team were forced to work from home as a result of lockdown restrictions. Originally we thought we would be able to work from the office, but the lockdown forced us to pack up and organise homeworking in just one day after the Christmas holiday. At the time this news felt unbearable and to be honest I am not sure how I managed to keep calm and resilient, however we were able to support the team and ensure Savera UK continued to operate at its best regardless.

The challenges continued throughout the year with changes in staffing, recruitment and the increase of service demand while at one point operating with just a team of three. Despite the obstacles, the Savera UK team continued with business as usual.

Overcoming challenges and achieving our goals only happens when you have a strong team with excellent communication and more importantly the passion and commitment that the Savera UK team shows.

They never gave up and we supported one another to ensure our clients were given the best service. The organisation is fortunate enough to have a Chair and Board that continues to support us and guide me and the team every step of the way. As the CEO and founder of the organisation I am extremely grateful and proud of the team and the Board. As a small, but mighty organisation together we have highlighted ‘honour’-based abuse and harmful practices and made groundbreaking advances in how these cases are managed, including creating protocols here in Merseyside.

I want to thank our team from the bottom of my heart. I also want to thank our funders, fundraisers and supporters in championing us and the work we do, we wouldn’t have come this far without you.

We achieved so much last year, but there are a few highlights from 2021 I want to share. Savera UK released its first Impact Report, which will now be delivered on an annual basis. Between June 2020 and June 2021 we reached over a 1,000 individuals via training and awareness and supported over 140 individuals that at risk of ‘honour’-based abuse and harmful practices. This may seem small to some, but to us it’s a huge change in seeing those at risk feel safe to come forward for help and support and to know that services finally understand the risk and call it to what it is. There is still a long way to go, but we have made an extraordinary change here in Merseyside and hope to achieve more here and other areas in the future.

While supporting clients Savera UK also delivered a number of events, including one developed and led by Savera UK Youth, who for the first time put together a Community Panel ‘Question Time’ style event. This came in the wake of the murder of Sarah Everard and a rise in violence and abuse against women. Savera UK Youth felt they needed to see what our communities and faith leaders were doing to doing to address the issue and how they were working towards eradicating violence and abuse. All questions raised at the panel were sourced from young people.

Watch survivor stories from Savera UK clients (1200 x 150 px)

Savera UK has always strived to make International Women’s Day special and bring women from all backgrounds together with activities and partnerships. In 2021 unfortunately we weren’t able to host in-person events, but instead marked the day with a women only online event. The day was a great success with over 70 women from local communities attending. Alongside the event we created a community booklet magazine using the 2021 International Women’s Day them of ‘Choose to Challenge’, in which women from the community to wrote about their everyday activism. The booklet also shared recipes written by Savera UK clients to encourage families to discuss activism while bonding over the creation of a delicious dish.

Last year Savera UK launched the ‘One Chance Rule’ video, explaining the belief that there could only be one chance to save a life when a disclosure is made, and the importance to act on that. We also launched survivor videos after working with BBC Radio Producer Ngunan Adamu, who held sessions with our clients and encouraged them to bravely share their stories of what it’s like to be a survivor of ‘honour’-based abuse (HBA) as part of our ‘Orange the World’ campaign.

This is just a snapshot of the work Savera UK achieved in 2021, there is lots more information on our website which details all of our events, blogs and reports. We are so excited to see what 2022 will bring and where Savera UK be this time next year.

For now I want to thank you all again for your continuing support and championing our work and we welcome all the new supporters and partners to work together to keep this agenda moving and continue to break the silence.

Do speak out and challenge attitudes that consider harmful practices as their culture or norms to practice.”

Afrah Qassim

Founder & CEO  

Student Spotlight

Student Spotlight: Jennifer, Social Work Student

Student Spotlight

 

Savera UK regularly welcomes student placements to the team so they can learn about what we do, how our team operates and the work involved in advocating for those at risk of ‘honour’-based abuse and other harmful practices.

Social Work student Jennifer, from Wolverhampton, has been on placement with us since the end of September from Edge Hill University, and as her time at Savera UK comes to an end we sat down to find out how she got on.

How did you first hear about Savera UK?

At university just before the summer we had a couple of days where we spoke to some of the services we could do placements with. I remember Savera UK being one of them. Afrah [Qassim, Savera UK founder and CEO] gave a presentation on ‘honour’-based abuse (HBA). I didn’t really understand it fully but it sounded so interesting to learn about. Then, when I got told I was at Savera UK I thought ‘This is great, I feel like I’ll learn loads’.

What has your day-to-day role been like?

I’ve worked with the clients in face-to-face appointments, in drop in sessions and welfare calls to check how they are and ask if they need anything else. I’ve done applications for Smallwoods Trust Grants and I’ve done risk assessments. I’ve also presented in multi-agency meetings. There’s been so many different things, it’s been great.

Of all your tasks, which has been your favourite?

I think organising the Christmas party and the drop in sessions for clients have been my favourite part. It was something similar to what I’ve done before and I knew it would have such a great impact I could physically see. When the clients came in I could see how happy it made them. Clients texted in afterwards and were like ‘I’m really thankful for the party and I hope you all have the best Christmas and New Year’. They were really grateful for the gifts and for the fact we put in so much time and effort to provide this for them. It was so nice, it was really heart-warming to know that I’d achieved something that had made them feel so happy.

What were some of the more challenging aspects of the role?

Working with other agencies, I think that would probably be the most challenging. HBA referrals usually require immediate action but a lack of understanding about the risks involved can mean that speed and communication is not always where we’d like it to be.

What can be done to help with those difficulties?

Improving general communication between all parties so everything is shared and helping to educate agencies on the specific risks and protocols around HBA and other harmful practices.

What has been aspect of the role that has surprised you the most?

The range of different experiences clients have had is what surprised me because even though they’re categorised into different areas they have been through so many different things, it’s kind of worrying to see how many different ways ‘honour’-based abuse (HBA) can be perpetrated.

Did your placement at Savera UK live up to the expectations you had before starting?

It did live up to it. I was really excited to learn and knew it would be such an opportunity, then coming here I’ve learnt loads and I’ve built so many skills and developed so much as a person and as a professional. I think it has really lived up to the expectations.

What will be your main takeaway following your placement with us?

I would say listening in during some of the professionals meetings and listening to the team meeting. I’ve learnt about how the one-to-one team interact with social workers and I think that’s the most important thing to takeaway. I want to be a social worker that helps professionals as well as clients. Knowing exactly how to help other professionals, that’s the most important thing for me to takeaway.

What do you think is the biggest challenge for charities supporting those at risk of harmful practices?

Probably the fact not everyone is educated around it. A limited amount of people that actually know about what they are and how to stop them and so it makes it then more difficult for the services to argue that it is HBA or a harmful practice, because then other people don’t understand it, and because other people don’t understand it they then don’t want to accept it.

How can this be overcome?

With more education and awareness. Spreading that not just with professionals but with everyone. That will really help to share the message and to share the information that’s needed for people to spot these things so people at risk are more protected.

What are your plans for the future?

I’ve got the rest of university to do then another placement next year for 100 days. I’ve always been more interested in children’s [social work] because I’ve got more experience of it but that’s not set in stone. I don’t really know what I’m going to do yet!

What did you enjoy the most about your time at Savera UK?

Interacting with the clients. That was why I wanted to do social work in the beginning, to interact with other people and learn from them. I feel like I’ve learnt a lot from the clients themselves. For example, when we did the Violence Against Women workshop, they were speaking about the experience of violence they had and how they felt during that time and that to me was the most important thing, learning about how felt during the time and how they feel now and how that has progressed because of the help they’ve received and the help they’ve given themselves.

Thank you for your hard work Jennifer, you have been a great asset at Savera UK and we wish you all the best in the future.

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Savera UK's festive party

Savera UK clients join Mrs Claus for festive party

Savera UK's festive party

Last week, Savera UK hosted a seasonal party for clients, which included a visit from a special Lapland resident.

All clients were invited to join the Covid regulation-compliant festivities where there was food, gifts and songs – including a rendition of Jingle Bells performed by some of the children.

Savera UK’s one-to-one Support Team organised hiring a room, decorating, setting up the gifts and getting on the phone to arrange the appearance of a special guest.

Thanks to their efforts Mrs Claus was on hand to give out gifts for both the children and their parents. We would like to thank Bookstart for donating gifts for the children and Brownlow Health Centre along with others for donating so we could buy gifts for our clients.

After checking that everyone was on the nice list, Mrs Claus handed out the gifts to excited children who couldn’t wait to open them.

Christmas gifts
Thank you to everyone who donated so Savera UK could provide gifts to clients

Savera UK Support Worker Emma, who helped organise the party and arranged the visit from Mrs Claus, said: “Often our clients don’t get the same opportunities as others and we wanted to make sure they experienced a Christmas party like the vast majority of other people.

“Christmas is all about magic and children and the fact that some families are from disadvantaged backgrounds should not mean that their children are denied these experiences.

“In addition, our clients have overcome so much hardship it is lovely to channel the Christmas spirit, especially with the challenges we have all faced during the pandemic.”

All clients were very thankful for the party, and one said: “It was amazing I liked the Mrs Santa idea. I enjoyed the food, drinks and I and the boys loved the gifts given as well. I love the fact that the gift was a surprise.”

Food parcels for Savera UK clients a the end-of-year party
Food parcels for Savera UK clients a the end-of-year party

Another Savera UK client said: “I and my kids attended the party, we really enjoyed it and had fun, the party venue was attractive and very well organised.

“Got lots and lots of presents and a food parcel, our buggies and prams yesterday were so full. Our kids got entertained and they were really feeling good and enjoyed it.”

One client described the party as “fabulous” and said they had “great fun with friends” and “delicious food”.

Asked about the children’s reaction to Mrs Claus, Emma said: “They were so excited and genuinely believed I was Mrs Claus which highlighted their innocence and the magic of it all.”

Emma said her favourite part was “seeing their little faces light up and how they all waited patiently for a gift”.

She said: “To keep [the children] entertained whilst they were waiting we asked them to explain how they can be sure they were on the ‘good list.’ Some of the things they said were heart-warming and it made all of the efforts so worth it. My favourite thing of one the children asked was if I could pass a message onto the elves to request the LOL gift set.

“Most importantly – it was seeing how much they appreciated it, adults and children alike, and this is reflected in their feedback.”

The Savera UK team and Board, clients, and volunteers, would like to thank every single person who helped and supported us in the last year, we are so appreciative and grateful.  

Have a wonderful festive period and a Happy New Year.  

Savera UK will be closed from 5pm on Thursday, 23rd December until Tuesday, 4th January. If you need support during this period click here.

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Why do we not talk about 'honour'-based abuse web banner

‘Why do we not talk about ‘honour’-based abuse?’

Why do we not talk about 'honour'-based abuse web banner

In her first blog for Savera UK, an anonymous client explains her experience of ‘honour’-based abuse (HBA), why we don’t talk about this kind of abuse enough, and why looking at the bigger picture, as well as the most extreme cases, is important in gaining a better understanding. 

When I hear the words ‘honour’-based abuse, I immediately picture a fierce-looking middle-aged man, wearing a dhoti (a form of sarong that outwardly resembles loose trousers) holding an axe, ready to strike this young woman who is cowering on the ground as death stares her in the face. This image stopped me, for decades, from accepting that ‘honour’-based abuse is a problem in my culture. In fact, it stopped me from recognising that I, too, was a victim.

I worried, and not without good reason, that this image perpetuated classist and racist stereotypes of brown men, and especially those hailing from rural areas. From that worry, I assumed, incorrectly this time, that to accept that ‘honour’-based abuse was a real problem in my culture would give credence to the idea that men from my culture are barbaric and uniquely predisposed to crimes passionels (crimes of passion), an idea that had gained so much currency in the first decades of this century. Especially when I joined the first wave of international students in the US since 2001, I felt it was necessary to bring nuance to this picture. The racist and classist stereotyping had far-reaching consequences for me, personally, as it pushed me into a corner from where I could not defend myself against the abuses of my own culture. But that is, perhaps, a story for another time.

Looking back at this experience, however, allows me to understand one reason why the larger British society is reluctant to talk about ‘honour’-based abuse. In the world where anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and even Nazi revivalism abound, it is difficult, and even risky, to acknowledge anything negative about a vulnerable group. I have seen simple appeals for donations for refugees devolve into a clash of civilisations narrative. In this context, it is easy to believe that there is more than just apathy that is holding back British society from acknowledging ‘honour’-based abuse.

Watch survivor stories from Savera UK clients (1200 x 150 px)

But my good intentions did not save me from being victimised. Nor will the society’s collective strategic tactfulness save the countless young people of all genders who are being forced into marriages or otherwise abused in the name of so-called ‘honour’.

As mentioned earlier, I was so fixated on the axe-wielding, paan­-chewing male abuser image, that I was blinded to my own abuse. Probably similar to how constructions of domestic abuse as only physical abuse keep a lot of victims from recognising the emotional, verbal or financial abuse that they are experiencing. Something that has worked in the latter case is expanding our understanding, at the societal level, that abuse can present in more subtle forms, such as coercive control. In the same way, we need to nuance our understanding of ‘honour’-based abuse, and to learn more about how it works.

In my case, I was not abused by my father, but by my mother. No one held a gun to my head, but life seemed unliveable, and I was constantly fantasising about using one on myself. I was not forced on to a plane and sent away. Instead, I was groomed from childhood into thinking that moving permanently away from my family would be dishonourable. In speaking of my experience, I do not wish to speak over the women who do face these very blatant threats to their lives, safety and freedom. Instead, I wish to point out that very often society hears about only the most extreme cases, and that those cases are merely the tip of the iceberg. ‘Honour’-based abuse, like all forms of abuse, works at multiple levels in many insidious ways.

To really protect those vulnerable to ‘honour’-based abuse, we need to understand the bigger picture within which this abuse takes place. We need to develop a better collective understanding of the mechanics of this form of abuse. And our allies in wider British society need to listen to us when we say that ‘honour’-based abuse is a problem.

If you are at risk of HBA or want advice, please contact the Savera UK helpline on 0800 107 0726, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. Savera UK is closed from 5pm Thursday, 23rd December 2021 until Tuesday, 4th January 2022. For support during this period click here.

Culture is Beautiful: No Excuse for Abuse

Event | Culture is Beautiful: No Excuse for Abuse 2021

Date: Thursday, 9th December

Time: 4pm – 6pm

Location: Online, registration essential

 

As part of the Orange the World 2021 campaign, Savera UK and Zonta London (a member of Zonta International) will be holding a panel event titled ‘Culture is Beautiful: No Excuse for Abuse’. Panelists will discuss tackling the harmful ways that culture is wrongly conflated with human rights abuses against women and girls.

Speakers will include; Nazir Afzal OBE, former Chief Prosecutor for the North West (UK) and Savera UK patron, Dr Leyla Hussein OBE, a psychotherapist specialising in supporting survivors of sexual abuse,  Dr Elham Manea from Zurich University, a political scientist specialised on the Arab Middle East and Mansi Mehta, Deputy Director, Global Cause Partnerships from UNICEF USA.

Also speaking will be Afrah Qassim, Savera UK CEO and founder and Britt Gustawsson of Zonta International.

The event will also share the voices of survivors and there will be an open Q&A session where attendees can put their questions to the panellists.

Meet the speakers

 

Ngunan Adamu, BBC Radio Merseyside presenter/producer

Ngunan Adamu is a BBC Radio Merseyside presenter/producer for the Upfront Show. She is the founder and CEO of iWoman, a programme which helps unemployed women in the region develop the skills and confidence to get into media, and has also been involved in training other journalists for the BBC World Service and worked on the BBC Young Reporter programme.

Find out more about iWoman here: https://www.iwoman.co.uk/

 

Mansi Mehta, Deputy Director of Global Cause Partnerships at UNICEF USA

Mansi is the Deputy Director of Global Cause Partnerships at UNICEF USA, she is a partnership development and public health professional. In her current role, she works to build partnerships with organisations whose mission and vision align with that of UNICEF and UNICEF USA. One of these organisations is Zonta International who since 2014 is supporting the UNFPA-UNICEF Global

Program to End Child Marriage.

Previously, Mansi worked at the Earth Institute of Columbia University on various health and education-related programs with a focus on empowering girls in sub-Saharan Africa through information, communication and technology. She has her Masters in Public Health and her undergraduate degrees are in Biology and Policy Studies

 

Dr. Elham Manea, Associate Professor at the Political Science Institute, University of Zurich

PD Dr. Elham Manea is a Privatdozentin (equivalent to Associate Professor) at the Political Science Institute, University of Zurich, a writer and human rights advocate. Her research focuses on

countries of the Arabian Peninsula, especially Yemen, Gender and Women under Muslim Laws; and Islamism. In 2010 she was appointed by the Swiss Federal Council as a Member of the Federal

Commission for Women Affairs and in 2020 at the Federal Commission for Migration, where she serves as a vice president. She has published academic and non-fiction books in English, German, and Arabic in addition to two novels in Arabic.

 

                                               

Nazir Afzal OBE, Savera UK Patron and Former Chief Prosecutor for North West England

Nazir Afzal OBE is the Patron of Savera UK and the Former Chief Prosecutor for North West England. He is an expert in de-radicalisation and a senior British lawyer who campaigns on issues

around child sexual exploitation and violence against women. He is also the author of The Prosecutor, a “searing insight into the justice system and a powerful story of one man’s pursuit of the truth”.

 

Afrah Qassim, CEO and Founder of Savera UK

Afrah is the Founder and CEO of Savera UK, a leading national organisation tackling the causes and effects of harmful practices including ‘honour’-based abuse, female genital mutilation and

forced/child marriage. Afrah is also the Chair of Liverpool Arab Arts Festival (LAAF).

 

Britt Gustawsson, Treasurer of Zonta Club London

Britt Gustawsson is a long-standing member of Zonta International, presently Treasurer of the Zonta Club

London and member of the Zonta International Nominating Committee. She is active in the UK CSW Alliance, which organizes civil society in the UK before and during the Commission

on the Status of Women (CSW). She has had a long career in senior management in privately owned multinational companies both in Sweden and the UK, and has worked globally in risk management, compliance and dispute resolution in multiple jurisdictions.

 

 

Savera UK aims to make events as accessible as possible. If you require reasonable adjustments to access this online event, then please contact us one week before the event so that actions can be taken to support you. 

 

Register

ACC Ngaire Waine of Merseyside Police at Savera UK and Zonta London's Orange the World launch event

Savera UK and Zonta London join for Orange the World Toolkit launch event in Liverpool

ACC Ngaire Waine of Merseyside Police at Savera UK and Zonta London's Orange the World launch event
ACC Ngaire Waine of Merseyside Police at Savera UK and Zonta London’s Orange the World launch event (Image credit: Gary Lambert)

Yesterday (Thursday, 25th November) Savera UK and Zonta London (a member of Zonta International) hosted a launch event to mark the beginning of Orange the World 2021 and 16 Days of activism centred on ending gender-based violence.

At Lovelocks Coffee Shop in Liverpool city centre yesterday we were joined by speakers who discussed why we must tackle violence against women and girls and what can be done to support the organisations doing this work.

Savera UK Chair Aislinn O'Dwyer at Orange the World 2021 launch event
Savera UK Chair Aislinn O’Dwyer (Image credit: Gary Lambert)

Savera UK Chair Aislinn O’Dwyer chaired yesterday’s panel and explained as we start the 16 Days of activism for Orange The World, we want to raise awareness of the fight against gender-based violence and abuse, which includes harmful practices such as forced marriage and child marriage, ‘honour’-based abuse (HBA) and female genital mutilation (FGM).

The Lord Mayor of Liverpool Councillor Mary Rasmussen led a moment of silence for those who have been lost to male violence before discussing sobering statistics including how globally, 137 women each day are killed by a member of their own family. The Lord Mayor urged people to continue working together to raise awareness, and ended her speech by saying “All do what you can. We have got to keep going.”

A member of Savera UK Youth read two moving poems, one titled ‘Honour’ and a second titled ‘A Woman’s Mind’.

Savera UK Founder and CEO Afrah Qassim at the launch event for Orange the World 2021
Savera UK Founder and CEO Afrah Qassim at the launch event for Orange the World 2021 (Image credit: Gary Lambert)

Savera UK Founder and CEO, Afrah Qassim, explained the 16 Days of activism toolkit was this year created in partnership with Zonta London in response to feedback last year from organisations and activists who wanted to get involved but didn’t know how.

Our toolkit centres each day on a theme, with actions people can take to get involved. You can find the Orange the World toolkit here.

Assistant Chief Constable Ngaire Waine of Merseyside Police explained the force receives 250 reports of sexual offences every month and outlined the work the force is doing to tackle gender-based violence. She said the force takes domestic violence “very seriously”.

Unfortunately, Merseyside Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell was unable to attend the event but shared a video message in which she explained the scale of the issues we face, including that every minute the UK police are called to an incident of domestic abuse.

The PCC said: “The reality is that gender-based violence and abuse does not occur in a vacuum. It is part of a society that allows misogyny and patriarchal attitudes to fester that leads to these types of behaviours going unpunished. If we don’t address these daily occurrences of harassment and abuse and call it out for what it is, we will never seriously change things in our society for the better.” You can watch the video message in full here.

Finally, Dianne Jeans of Zonta London discussed the important campaigning their organisation does to raise awareness of issues surrounding gender-based violence. She explained day two of the 16 Days of activism, (Friday 26th November), was themed on envisioning, and asked people to share the futures they envision for women and girls by writing them on tags provided and hanging them on the envisioning tree.

Savera UK was deeply saddened to hear later that same evening two murder investigations were launched following the deaths of 12-year-old Ava White and a 47-year-old woman who has not been named.

The events that happened in Liverpool last night do not reflect the world that we want. The world that we envision – and the one that we will continue to fight to create – is one where all women are free to live and thrive without fear of abuse, violence or death.

Our thoughts remain with the victims’ families at this tragic time.

afrah qassim

Savera UK welcomes new strategy to tackle violence against women and girls in Liverpool

Savera UK is today welcoming the news of a new three-year strategy launched by Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson to tackle violence against women and girls. 

Liverpool City Council says the strategy outlines gaps in the current services and aims to bring the city to a position where there is an emphasis on prevention.

It is understood the strategy also takes into account those who are at risk of ‘honour’-based abuse, forced marriage, female genital mutilation and other harmful practices.

Afrah Qassim, CEO and Founder of Savera UK, said: “We welcome the launch of the Mayor’s new three-year strategy to tackle violence and abuse, including ‘honour’-based abuse, female genital mutilation and forced marriage, against women and girls.

afrah qassim
Savera UK Founder and CEO Afrah Qassim

Savera UK looks forward to supporting her plans and working collaboratively with the city council, statutory and voluntary services across the city, to tackle the root causes of these issues, support survivors and those at risk and enact lasting change that will create a safer city for women and girls.”

About the strategy, Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson, said: “Tackling violence against women and girls is a political priority for me – the statistics are really worrying and we simply have to do more.

“It takes real courage for victims and survivors to come forward, but there are currently inconsistencies in the service they receive.

“Furthermore, the organisations that provide vital services have been living from year-to-year because of the way funding is handed out, so we need to find a way to give them long-term stability.

“This strategy is not a panacea: it is a starting point to consult and engage with stakeholders, charitable and voluntary organisations involved in dealing with the issue.

“It’s the first stage in the process of what we plan to do, outlining Liverpool’s ambitions to end gender-based violence and recognising how we can all work together to achieve these aims.

“The strategy is not set in stone, and changes will be made as we move forward and come together as a city to deliver the change that is needed.”