Tackling HBV, FM and FGM
Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Katy Bourne is speaking at a Conference in London today (7 July) about tackling honour based violence (HBV), forced marriage (FM) and female genital mutilation (FGM).
This event brings together expert speakers from the police, education, local authorities, health and the voluntary sector to enhance partnership working and to examine how adopting a stronger multi-agency response can enable prevention, as well as early intervention and support for victims and those at risk. The PCC’s talk will focus on how Sussex is already taking a multi-agency approach to tackling these issues and examples of good practice.
Earlier this year the PCC funded training for 16 police officers to become specialist investigators in Harmful Traditional Practices, including FGM. To continue supporting victims from ethnic minority communities, the PCC has also allocated funding towards a Domestic Abuse Peer Educator programme for BME (Black & Minority Ethnic) communities. The programme has resulted in ten domestic abuse disclosures within the BME communities in Brighton and Hove and, building on this success, work is ongoing with local authority partners to see how this programme can be extended to provide support to women and girls experiencing violence in the context of harmful traditional practices such as FGM and HBV.
Mrs Bourne said: “This is a hugely complex area and taking a multi-agency approach to tackling these often ‘hidden’ crimes is vital in order to fully recognise and understand these crimes and to support and help prevent more victims.
“I believe these issues are still significantly under reported in Sussex and across the country, which is why it is essential that the police and partners work closely together to ensure effective communication between agencies to protect those most at risk.”
View the PCC’s video message about FGM here.