Tag: female genital mutilation

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.

Student Spotlight: Taylor and Jackie, Social Work Students

Savera UK regularly welcomes student placements 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.

This year we welcomed Taylor and Jackie to the team, who both began social work placements. Taylor is already half-way through her placement while Jackie has only recently joined. We’re delighted to have you both on board and wish you the best of luck with your placements.

Taylor and Jackie share with us the reasons behind choosing to study social work (and children’s nursing, in Taylor’s case) and tell us a little bit about themselves.

Tell us about yourself!

Jackie: I’m originally from a small village in between Sheffield and Chesterfield (it’s a lot easier to say from near Sheffield though!). As well as studying my Masters, I also work in Domiciliary Care and love it! I enjoy the football too and work at Anfield and Goodison on match days as well as going to watch it.

I love animals and my favourite animals are pandas. I have a big collection of them and it seems to be getting bigger by the week. I’m very outdoorsy and love going to new places and travelling. I have a passion for doing charity work and raising money for different charities and organisations. Before the pandemic, I did a sponsored skydive for Western Park Cancer Charity and raised over £1,000. I’m hoping to be able to join more charities like this now Covid has settled down and jump out of my comfort zone some more.

Taylor: I’m a 23-year-old student, I love music. I love going to music concerts and being in that atmosphere. I have a big family so I enjoy doing activities with them such as bowling, the cinema and fun days out.

Why did you choose to study your course?

Jackie: I never knew what to do and what I wanted to study to be honest. I studied Drama and Special Educational Needs for my undergraduate degree which stemmed from studying Drama, English Literature and Philosophy and Ethics at A-Level where I wanted to be a Dramatherapist.

However, looking after my dad when he became terminally ill had a big influence on what I wanted to do. After reading up on social work and having the chance to be an influencing factor in making a change in people’s lives, I knew that was the thing I felt was missing in deciding what I wanted to do which is why I chose to study my course.

Taylor: I did hairdressing after I left school. After two years I decided I wanted to do something different, so I decided I wanted to be a Nurse. I was accepted on a course which allowed me to explore both professions of a nurse and a social worker. With this [Savera UK] being my first social work placement, I have really enjoyed seeing the role of a Social worker in action. My course will allow me to gain a career where I am able to work as an integrated professional and help individuals holistically.

What will your role be at Savera UK?

Jackie: My role at Savera UK as a student on placement will essentially be getting involved in what the support team do, including making referrals, attending meetings, providing support to clients and observing the team’s day-to-day work.

What are you looking forward to the most?

Jackie: I’m looking most forward to getting stuck in and being able to apply what we’ve been taught in university into practice. I’m looking forward to seeing how things operate and how to look at cases and work on and with them.

What do you hope to bring to the team during your placement?

Jackie: During my placement, I hope to bring my energy and personality to the team as well as some of my thoughts and input on things.

Taylor, how are you finding your placement at Savera UK now you are half-way through?

Taylor: I am glad that I got a placement as amazing at this, the staff at the organisation are phenomenal at their jobs. This given me an opportunity to learn about ‘honour’-based abuse (HBA) and harmful practices. Speaking to my peers and seeing professionals working alongside Savera UK it’s clear not everyone is aware of HBA.

Before beginning your placement, what did you hope to learn?

Taylor: I like learning new things and developing my knowledge which is what I hoped to get from Savera UK. I have learnt so much already only being half way through my placement. I like to believe I am a quick learner when I have been shown what to do, which I hoped would help me during my time here. I didn’t have an expectation of what I was going to learn as I wasn’t aware of the work Savera UK did but I am pleased to say I have learnt so much.

What have you learnt already?

Taylor: While being at Savera UK I have been able to participate or complete a number of tasks and undertake training sessions which have developed my skills and knowledge about culture, sexual abuse and children’s sexual exploitation. I have referred clients for different types of support such as completing MARACs and referring clients to councillors. I have written supporting letters for clients to support asylum or to continue their studies. I have also been able to see professional strategy meetings and uploaded client information from police and other professional referrals.

What do you hope to learn as you continue your placement?

Jackie: I’m hoping to develop my skills as a social worker and increase my knowledge on things that I may not be too sure about.

Taylor: I feel this placement will allow me to spot signs of HBA and harmful practices while I get further in my career and educate others on my knowledge around HBA.

Thank you Jackie and Taylor! We’re so pleased to have you both as part of the Savera UK team.

International Women’s Day 2022: Help #BreakTheBias with Savera UK

Today (Tuesday 8th March 2022) is International Women’s Day and this year’s theme, #BreakTheBias, calls on people globally to strive for a “gender equal world” that is “free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination” and where “difference is valued and celebrated”.

This year’s theme resonates closely with Savera UK’s organisational mission. We are a leading charity tackling culturally-specific abuse such as ‘honour’-based abuse (HBA) and other harmful pratices such as female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage. All of these issues are rooted in societies based on patriarchal ideologies and at their heart lies gender inequality.

Although anyone can be at risk of harmful practices – and Savera UK supports survivors of all genders – it is important to highlight on International Women’s Day the majority of people that we support are women. Those at risk of harmful practices face bias and discrimination in their own homes and communities and even in finding and accessing services, due to a lack of understanding around culturally-specific abuse, which often means the signs can be missed.

This International Women’s Day, the team at Savera UK pledges to continue to #BreakTheBias by raising awareness of the issues, challenging harmful stereotypes around these issues and supporting and advocating for survivors and those at risk of harmful practices.

We still have a long way to go to tackle gender inequality and as long as gender inequality exists, so too will gender-based violence and abuse. If we work together to eradicate this, more women will be free to exercise their human rights, and have the opportunity to thrive and achieve their full potential.

For more information on International Women’s Day visit: https://www.internationalwomensday.com/

To find out how you can get involved in Savera UK’s work, visit: https://www.saverauk.co.uk/what-can-you-do/get-involved/ 

Help us fund safe therapies

Help survivors of ‘honour-based abuse access safe therapies

Help us fund safe therapies
Help us fund safe therapies for Savera UK clients

At Savera UK we are committed to ensuring we provide the best possible support to survivors of ‘honour’-based abuse (HBA), forced marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM) and other harmful practices.

We provide a safe environment for those at risk of these practices regardless of their age, gender, sexuality or culture. Anyone can be affected by HBA, which is abuse perpetrated in the name of so-called ‘honour’. The abuse carried out can range from isolating/imprisoning an individual and ostracising them from a community to being killed, or what is known as a so-called ‘honour’ killing.

The people who are at risk of HBA and other culturally specific harmful practices may be vulnerable as a result and in need of specialist support from professionals who have an in-depth understanding of the issues and the effect they can have on survivors.

At Savera UK our clients are at the forefront of all our work, and when seeking donations we want to make sure the money is being used in a way that addresses the needs of survivors and helps them process their experiences.

That is why we’re asking for your help.

We continue to improve our services based on feedback from our clients, who have expressed a wish for us to expand the emotional support we offer by providing therapies and working with specialist therapist professionals who have a good understanding of HBA, forced marriage, FGM and other harmful practices.

Savera UK wants to provide clients with services that actively work to ensure cultural sensitivity and demonstrate an understanding of the issues our clients may be facing. These specialist therapies will involve modern and alternative therapies including art, drama and music, which have been proven to help clients explore difficult memories. Importantly these types of therapies often don’t require a lot of talking, meaning those clients who do not speak English as a first language are easily able to engage.

These therapy sessions will be focused on trauma and attachment, with a particular focus on the relationships between parents and children which can become negatively impacted by harmful practices. We hope to aid the rebuilding of relationships that have been affected by these practices during Theraplay sessions. Theraplay is a form of therapy that involves the parent and child being guided to form positive attachments through patterns of playful, healthy interaction.

We can’t provide these supportive therapies to our clients without your help.

To be able to conduct these sessions for clients with professional therapists, we need to raise £1,500, which will then be matched by the National Emergencies Trust Local Action Fund.

Donate to the fundraiser here: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/saverauk01

Please note, this fundraiser closes on 15th December

St George's Hall lit up orange for the last Orange the World campaign

Savera UK partner with Zonta London for Orange the World 2021

For the second year, Savera UK and Zonta London are joining forces for Orange the World 2021.

The campaign will see landmark structures lit orange to mark 16 days of activism from Thursday, 25th November to Friday, 10th December. During the 16 days, we will raise awareness of violence against women and girls in the UK and around the world.

St George's Hall lit up orange for the last Orange the World campaign
St George’s Hall lit up orange for the last Orange the World campaign (Image credit: Jennifer Bruce)

We are speaking out against domestic violence, rape and harassment, as well as more hidden harmful practices like ‘honour’-based abuse, female genital mutilation and forced marriage. We want to rally people to take action that will ensure that our towns, cities and homes are places where women and girls can live without fear of violence, abuse or harassment. There is no excuse for abuse.

To help you get involved in the 16 days of activism, this year we are releasing a toolkit with themes, activities and events you can participate in. We will also include information on the services available to those at risk.

To be the first to receive the toolkit and find out more about the event, please register your interest here.

Culture is Beautiful: No Excuse for Abuse panel event

Culture is Beautiful: No Excuse for Abuse
The Culture is Beautiful: No Excuse for Abuse panel event will take place on Thursday, 9th December 2021 between 4pm and 6pm.

During the Orange the World campaign Savera UK and Zonta International will host a powerful online panel event titled Culture is Beautiful: No Excuse for Abuse.

On Thursday, 9th December between 4pm and 6pm, an exciting and influential international panel will come together to discuss how cultures and cultural beliefs, including religion, are used as an excuse for male violence against women/girls and harmful practices.

They will also highlight the misinformation that perpetuates this belief and how such harmful practices are in fact a violation of human rights that need to be tackled. The panel will also discuss how we can work together to end harmful traditional practices.

Savera UK CEO and founder, Afrah Qassim and a representative of Zonta International will be joined by a panel including; Mansi Mehta, Deputy Director, Global Cause Partnerships from UNICEF USA, Dr Elham Manea from Zurich University, a political scientist specialised on the Arab Middle East, Nazir Afzal, former Chief Prosecutor for the North West (UK) and Savera UK patron, as well as other speakers yet to be confirmed.

The event will share the voices of survivors and attendees will be able to put their questions to the panel in a Q&A session. If you would like to attend the free, online event, you can register here.