PART OF WISH
Women in Safe Hands (WISH) is one of the projects of Peacemaker International. It is keen in empowering women for justice by supporting survivors of gender violence. The organisation takes Forced Marriages, Human Trafficking, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Domestic and Sexual Abuses seriously and increases the safety of women and children by providing a range of diverse services.
The organisation provides a secure environment in which women and children survivors of FGM are free to express themselves without being threatened, intimated, judged, subjected to prejudice or racial discrimination.
WISH encourages social change and provides a proactive measure in a way that decreases the use of violence, inequality and injustice against women.
‘LEAVING IT INTACT’ initiative is part of WISH project. ‘Leaving it Intact’; it is perfect the way it is and there is no reason to tamper with it. The primary focus is about safety of women and girls through crisis intervention and empowerment. Ending violence, empowering women and children.
“FGM is a fundamental human rights issue with adverse health and social implications… (it) violates the rights of girls and women to bodily integrity and results in perpetuating gender inequality” (UK All Parliamentary Group on Population Development and Reproductive Health 2000).
The purpose of the LEAVING IT INTACT initiative is to raise awareness, support and increase the safety of women and girls who have been affected by or are at risk of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
SOME OF WHAT WE HAVE DONE:
- Awareness raising
- Supporting survivors
- Educating women who carry out the procedure (circumcisers)
- Reaching out to schools, faith leaders and communities
- Providing tailored training for families and professionals
- Providing drop-in sessions, guidance, one-to-one and group support
- Working with families whose children are at risk of FGM
- Working with statutory bodies as a specialist on the issue of FGM
RELEVANCE OF THE PROJECT IN OUR LOCALITY:
Bradford has the highest number of BME population in West Yorkshire – 32.6% but lagging in domestic violence conviction. 66.6% in 2014/15 which is below the national average of 75%. Our FGM champion FGM in the Council tabled a motion at the Bradford Metropolitan Full Council Meeting in January 2017 and Bradford was declared zero tolerance against FGM on the 17th January 2017.
Concerning FGM, we are the only community-led organisation actively working on FGM in Bradford. As we know, FGM is child abuse and much is needed to be done in terms of training, support and prosecution.
Bradford has 7,081 Africans in addition to non-Africans from FGM practising nations. As emphasised by Chief Nurse BTHFT, Consultant Dermatologist, Head of Child Protection Operation NSPCC, and Director of Peacemaker International during the Safeguarding Week, much more work should be done locally on FGM, including having a dedicated FGM nurse and encouraging survivors to speak out. We have some families we are supporting at present and it has been documented that over 22,000 girls in the UK are at risk. Professionals told us that the basic training given to them on FGM is not enough to support women and girls.
AS A COMMUNITY ANCHOR:
Working at the grass-root, as a community anchor, women come to us first when they need support on gender-based violence, as we understand their cultural needs and we have survivors working with clients. We work in partnership with voluntary sectors, statutory and other agencies.
We are a specialist service provider and well known as a campaigner against FGM, support and training. Our organisation has featured in the newspapers, television and radio programmes. We started the only community-led multi-agency group on FGM, involving Voluntary and Community Sector, schools, solicitors, police, Council, Bradford University and College.
ZERO TOLERANCE FOR FGM
Early 2017, Bradford was declared ‘Zero Tolerance for FGM’ through our initiative presented at the Full Council Meeting by our FGM champion – Cllr Joanne Dodds. This was unanimously agreed. The pledge was signed on 6th February as part of International Day for Zero Tolerance for FGM in 2017.
Our project is survivor-led and our senior advocacy worker has over 20 years’ experience supporting women/girls..
Any form of sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls must stop.
FGM is a serious issue. We understand that over ‘200 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of FGM’. Many bled to death, some are not able to enjoy life, and others cannot bear children. As many more children are still at risk, we implore you to join our campaign on:
FACEBOOK: Pem Peace