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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Lottery cash to tackle honour abuse in capital

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Honour abuse project gets funding to tackle the problem more effectively

A rise in so-called honour crime has led to an Edinburgh-based support service receiving nearly £800,000 in lottery cash.

Bright Choices received £786,814 from theBig Lottery Fund to tackle the problem among the city’s black and ethnic minority communities.

Honour crime occurs when a family member abuses a relative they believe has shamed the family or community.

It plans to use the money to support 130 affected families over the next four years.

It comes after a recent survey showed 63% of 300 families of black and ethnic minorities polled in the city said honour abuse was part of their family's belief system.

More than half (52%) said "honour" would prevent them reporting a crime to the police, the poll by Edinburgh and Lothians Regional Equality Council found.

We will use restorative and mediation approaches to dealing with individual cases which have not resulted in formal action - Ian McDonough

Police and voluntary organisations in the Lothians have seen a significant rise in honour abuse cases in recent years, according to figures quoted by the Big Lottery Fund.

Bright Choices was set up by community justice organisation Sacro, Edinburgh and Lothians Regional Equality Council and the charity Multi-Cultural Family Base, following consultation with Police Scotland.

Ian McDonough, from Sacro, said: "We will use restorative and mediation approaches to deal with individual cases which have not resulted in formal action such as criminal prosecution but present indications that honour abuse is an actual or potential issue.

"Restorative approaches focus on repairing harm done to individuals and relationships by assisting people who have caused harm to acknowledge this and make amends and assisting those harmed to have reparation made to them."

Police dealt with 41 reported incidents in 2012, compared with 31 in the previous two years combined.

Steve Gowenlock, from Multi-Cultural Family Base, said: "We will offer one-to-one support using a counselling skills approach with the aim of helping an individual to make informed choices about their options.

"Family and group work for children, young people or adults, will be offered aimed at improving family communication and functioning while play based approaches will be used with children."

 

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