Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, John Dwyer has joined forces with Savera UK to support its work in providing life-saving services for those at risk of ‘honour’-based abuse (HBA) and culturally specific abuse in Cheshire.
Through funding provided by the Commissioner, the charity has been able to employ a HBA and Harmful Practices Specialist Worker to join Savera UK 1-1 service team to provide direct intervention to survivors and those at risk or under threat of ‘honour’-based abuse and harmful practices.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, John Dwyer, said: “I am delighted to be working with Savera UK, the direct intervention, safeguarding and advocacy that they provide to communities across Cheshire is vital. ‘Honour’-based abuse is often under-reported and can
be referred to as a ‘hidden-crime’ because of this. By having Savera UK’s provision in our county, it may just give people the confidence they need to come forward and report their experiences.
“Protecting vulnerable and at-risk people is a priority in my Police and Crime Plan, and those at risk of ‘honour’-based abuse can be some of the most vulnerable in our society. I am looking forward to working alongside Savera UK to ensure survivors get the safeguarding and support that they need in order to rebuild their lives.”
As well as the direct intervention, safeguarding and advocacy that Savera UK provides to survivors we will also be providing them with emotional support, an empowerment programme and assistance in gaining economic independence.
Savera UK also aims to tackle the causes of ‘honour’-based abuse and harmful practices by speaking out to challenge harmful attitudes, contributing to research and delivering training to raise awareness among professionals and in the wider community.
CEO and Founder of Savera UK, Afrah Qassim, said: “Partnerships are vital in our mission to eradicate ‘honour’-based abuse and harmful practices and we are proud to be working with the Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner to tackle these issues in the county.
“Guiding and supporting people working on the frontline to better understand harmful practices, speak out against them, and provide appropriate help to survivors and those at risk enables us to reach more people who otherwise may not have found the confidence to seek help.
“Meeting the team to formally launch our partnership was a wonderful experience and its commitment to tackling these issues shone through. We look forward to working with Cheshire PCC in our united aims and making it clear that there is no excuse for abuse regardless of people’s beliefs.”
There are many signs of ‘honour’-based abuse and other harmful practices, indicators can include:
- House arrest- being kept home with no choice of freedom or movement
- Threats to kill- those who believe in HBA would like their loved one in the name of ‘honour’, so threats must be taken seriously
- Being accompanied at all times by a family member- they may even speak on their behalf
- Becoming withdrawn or displaying a change in behaviour
- Family disputes
- Presenting a fear of being taken abroad
John Dwyer added: “I want to take this opportunity to encourage anyone who is experiencing or witnessing ‘honour’-based abuse to speak out. Speaking out isn’t easy but it takes us step closer to eradicating harmful practices within our communities. Savera UK is there to help and support you, but I would like to remind the public that 999 should always be the first contact if there is an immediate risk.”