Refuge awarded over £13,000 to deliver two community engagement projects addressing female genital mutilation (FGM) and ‘honour’-based violence

On Friday 5th December, Communities Minister Stephen Williams announced the names of 17 frontline community projects that will receive a share of £270,000 to help end female genital mutilation (FGM) and ‘honour’-based violence.

As part of this allocation, Refuge has been awarded two lots of funding; £7,393 for a project on forced marriage and ‘honour’-based violence based in Hackney and Derby; and £5,951 for a project on FGM based in Lewisham. These projects aim to raise awareness of FGM, forced marriage and ‘honour’-based violence and empower professionals to better support victims.

It is currently estimated that each year in the UK, over 20,000 girls under the age of 15 are at risk of female genital mutilation, and that 66,000 women are living with the consequences of FGM (NHS, 2014). In addition, the government’s Forced Marriage Unit was alerted to over 1,300 possible or actual forced marriage cases in 2013 alone, involving a total of 74 different countries.

Sandra Horley CORRECT HEADSHOT 2014Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of national domestic violence charity Refuge, says:
“Refuge is delighted to have been awarded funding by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Every year in the UK thousands of women and girls are at risk of female genital mutilation, ‘honour’-based violence and forced marriage. Refuge knows that in many circumstances victims are not being reached.

“We will be using this funding to run informal training and awareness raising events on forced marriage, ‘honour’-based violence and female genital mutilation events throughout 2015 in Derby Hackney and Lewisham. It is vital that we raise awareness of these crimes, so that people understand their rights – and know how to access support. Professionals working with vulnerable adults and children must also be trained to recognise the warning signs. This will empower them to identify potential victims, and refer them on to specialist support services which are often nothing less than life-saving.”

Communities Minister Stephen Williams said:
“I first became aware of female genital mutilation when a teacher came to one of my MP surgeries and I was introduced to a group of girls who had decided to campaign against FGM. I was horrified at what I heard about this deeply embedded cultural practice. This practice has no medical benefits; indeed it results in great pain and distress as well as causing medical complications during child birth.

“That’s why I am proud that this government is making good on its pledge at the International Girl Summit to invest in these valuable projects, which will change hearts and minds in local communities, train frontline workers and help bring an end to this terrible practice.”

To see which other projects were awarded funding, see this interactive map created by the Department for Communities and Local Government.