Tag: 5k to End HBA

Student Spotlight

Student spotlight: Anushka, Social and Political Science Student

For two weeks in December 2022 Savera UK’s Communications and Campaigns Team was joined by Social and Political Science Student Anushka Swannell.

Anushka is a passionate activist dedicated to working towards the prevention of sexual violence. She is particularly interested in how policy can facilitate this work.

Anushka applied to take part in a student placement with Savera UK in order to learn more about ‘honour’-based abuse (HBA) and how a grassroots organisation makes an impact nationally. You can learn more about Anushka’s experience in the below interview.

Thank you for your hard work and dedication Anushka!

How did you first hear about Savera UK?

In April 2021, Afrah [Qassim, Savera UK CEO and Founder] kindly spoke as a panel member at the University of York Labour (UYLC) Conference event on ‘Intersectionality Matters: Women’s Panel on the Impact of Covid-19’. At the time I was the Gender Liberation officer at UYLC and was utterly inspired by Savera UK’s work and its commitment to helping survivors whilst being dedicated to tackling ‘honour’-based abuse nationally. Since this event, I was truly inspired and have never forgotten about Savera UK. It has been awe-inspiring to be able to help the team over the last two weeks.

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

Savera UK has been extremely accommodating to me and has given me so many exciting tasks to help its campaigns and outreach. Throughout the student placement, I have been involved in researching contacts to help propel the outreach of the media guidelines campaign. Additionally, I have helped with social media including posts about Human Rights Day post and the 5k To End HBA campaign. The campaign, engagement and communications team have also been kind enough to let me sit in meetings regarding branding and communications within Savera UK.

Of all your tasks, which has been your favourite?

My favourite task has been researching policy and legislation – with Savera UK’s brand, values and objectives in mind – and sharing my recommendations with the team.

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

The client drop-in was an amazing experience and was incredibly eye-opening, however, I do think the most challenging aspect is knowing that Savera UK’s clients’ have struggled with HBA and/or harmful practices. That said, meeting clients was extraordinary and really highlighted the motivations behind wanting to have a student placement at Savera UK.

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

What has truly surprised me the most, is that the Savera UK team have given me tasks and projects to do during the placement which will contribute to their campaigns, work and progress. I am so grateful for this opportunity to actually do some tangible work that will be used as this is not mirrored a lot of time in other placements/ work experience. Additionally, the placement has left me feeling empowered, inspired and ready to help survivors through the public sector. This has genuinely taken me by surprise and is invaluable to me.

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

Honestly, I did not have any expectations of what the placement would be like at Savera UK. Nevertheless, the placement has given me so much excitement, skills and work experience in a charity. The placement has gone above and beyond, I am really grateful to the entire team.

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

The major takeaway I will take from the student placement is that there are truly wonderful people in this world making a difference in survivors’ lives and it is not all bleak. The Savera UK team have truly inspired me to get stuck in, in policy to further help survivors. Additionally, it has taught me that my goals and ambitions are not too far away from being destinations. The placement has taught me that real change is happening and is happening now and I am hoping to be part of that change.

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

I think the biggest challenge cannot be put down to one, so I think it is three-fold. Firstly, it is the incoherence of HBA and harmful practices within government, legislation, local government, social workers, social care, police, emergency services and education/ training. Secondly, it is the damaging stereotypes around HBA and harmful practices that are stunting progress. Lastly, I think it is the lack of awareness and education around HBA and harmful practices. Although these are huge challenges, these are challenges that can be overcome and I know that Savera UK is determined to defeat these challenges.

How can this be overcome?

I think the ways this can be overcome are below:

  1.  Legitimate policy and legislation that sets out a coherent definition of HBA and harmful practices
  2. This definition will be embedded into professional practice and training for emergency services and social and support workers/services as well as medical professionals. This training should be mandatory
  3. Education for secondary and primary school children, which Savera UK has begun with the creation of an education pack for secondary school students. This could be standardised and compulsory within RSE.
  4. Education statutory guidance needs to be stricter on the implementation of this policy and training goes hand in hand with this.
  5. Campaigns, raising awareness, education, and community work will help to alleviate the harmful stereotypes

I am aware that a lot needs to be done but I think this is achievable. I think Savera UK has the resilience, fire and expertise to deliver these outcomes and I would love to be a part of that as much as possible. I cannot wait to see what Savera UK achieves in 2023.

What are your plans for the future?

The Savera UK student placement has motivated me to delay doing a masters degree and go straight into NGO and charity work post graduating with my undergraduate degree. On the way home from the placement, I will be drafting my applications for the Houses of Parliament graduate scheme and the Charity Works graduate scheme.

My ambition is to work in policy to prevent sexual violence through compulsory consent education and training as well as emergency services training on definitions around consent and coercion.

One day I would love to come back to Savera UK and help as much as I can to end ‘honour’-based abuse. I hope to apply for Savera UK’s Youth Advisory Board to start this journey with Savera UK.

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

I enjoyed meeting Savera UK’s team the most and also helping the team with possible policy opportunities as this aligns with my ambitions and passions the most.

Genuinely would like to thank the entire team for welcoming me to well into the team and could not be more grateful for the experience.

Thank you for your incredibly kind words Anushka, it has been wonderful having you as part of the team and we wish you all the best in your future!

Savera UK Founder and CEO, Afrah Qassim

Savera UK CEO reflects on 2022 and remembers those lost to ‘honour’-based abuse

As we come to the final weeks of 2022, I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on what Savera UK has achieved in the past year. It feels as though it was only last week when we celebrated the start of 2022, while at the same time it’s been a long year with plenty of progress made. I’m so proud of the work we have achieved, despite facing challenges along the way as I’m sure is a similar story for many of you. I first want to congratulate and thank the Savera UK team for their endless commitment and passion to Savera UK. I would also like to thank the Savera UK Board, Advisory Board and Youth Advisory Board for their amazing support and commitment. Our funders and supporters, who are key in helping us end ‘honour’-based abuse (HBA) and harmful practices. Without your involvement and support, we would not have been able to accomplish so much in the last year – thank you.

This year Savera UK Youth conducted fantastic awareness-raising work including relaunching the #ENDFGM Exhibition in partnership with the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool as part of International Day for Zero Tolerance of Female Genital Mutilation and releasing their educational film ‘Orange Brick Road’ as part of UK Parliament Week. Alongside the video, Savera UK Youth created an education pack including activities to help teachers and those working with young people guide discussions on harmful practices.

Savera UK one-to-one direct intervention team has provided advocacy and support to many of our clients and also delivered empowerment activities including self-confidence building, dance and self-defence classes. It has also provided wellbeing support through weekly drop-in sessions and provided emotional and financial support through the Smallwood Community Grant.

This year Savera UK’s work was also recognised in the Third Sector Awards, for which we were nominated in the ‘Small Charity, Big Achiever’ category. I am incredibly grateful to those who nominated me for the Merseyside Women of the Year Awards 2022, and I was overwhelmed to be awarded the Woman of Courage Award sponsored by Courage and Sparkle. Liverpool-based Savera UK Youth members were also recognised in the Steve Biko Awards, for their diligent work raising awareness of harmful practices during the pandemic.

Earlier this year I was invited to join The Queen Consort at a reception at Buckingham Palace to mark International Elimination of Violence Against Women Day. While there I was able to discuss the important work our team does to safeguard and advocate on behalf of people at risk of HBA and harmful practices. We also published our first research paper talking about HBA ‘A descriptive study of survivors, perpetrators and abuse characteristics’, which you can read here.

My personal highlight of the year was the launch of Savera UK’s ‘5k to End HBA’ fundraising campaign, which was launched with a march through Liverpool city centre to shine a light on HBA and stand in solidarity with survivors.

We are very proud had the opportunity to take part in the Pilotlight programme, which allowed us to focus on our strategic plan and future development. The partnership encouraged me and the Savera UK Board to challenge ourselves and to consider the organisation’s challenges. Thank you to all the Pilotlighters we worked with. We are delighted to end the year in announcing our new and exciting partnership with Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner.

Once again, thank you for all your continued support and believing in Savera UK and the work we do.

I ask for us all during the festive season, to reflect and think of all those whose have lost their loved ones, and those who are still living and at risk of HBA and struggling to ask for help.

Afrah Qassim,

CEO and Founder of Savera UK

March with Savera UK to launch the '5k to End HBA' event

Event | March to Launch of 5K to end HBA (‘Honour’-Based Abuse) Campaign

March with Savera UK to launch the '5k to End HBA' event

Meet on the steps of St Luke’s Bombed-Out Church from 3:30pm. Speeches start at 4pm

March with Savera UK through Liverpool city centre in protest against ‘honour’-based abuse (HBA) and harmful practices. Stand in solidarity with survivors of HBA, female genital mutilation (FGM), forced marriage and child marriage and remember those who have been lost.

The march also marks the launch of Savera UK’s first-ever fundraising campaign, which encourages people to take on a personal 5K challenge, between Friday, 25th November and Saturday 10th December 2022 in memory of the 5,000 people lost each year due to ‘honour’-based abuse (#5KForTheFiveThousand).

Speakers: Saliha Rashid, Savera UK Survivor Ambassador, Emily Spurrell, Merseyside PCC, Afrah Qassim, CEO & Founder Savera UK

Performers: Movema, Bring the Fire, Savera UK Youth

Following the march, we will be going to Derby Square to join the vigil for those lost to domestic violence and abuse, which starts at 5:30pm.

For further information or to confirm attendance, please email [email protected]