Rising cases of Honour Based Abuse and Forced Marriage in the city spurs a need to raise awareness

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Peterborough Council for Voluntary Service’s (PCVS) Domestic Abuse Forum have noted a growing number of Honour Based Abuse and Forced Marriage incidents coming to light in Peterborough.

In response to this, they co-sponsored the recent Karma Nirvana workshop with Community First, to raise awareness on how to recognise and deal with honour based abuse and forced marriage issues, providing volunteers and frontline workers with the necessary tools to help victims and their families.

Karma Nirvana renowned experts in this area, who support victims and survivors via their national helpline, delivered the training that was well attended by 22 representatives from Peterborough’s charities and community groups.

The training highlighted the tell-tale signs to look out for when recognizing incidents of  Honour Based Abuse and  also reinforced the fact that it can occur in many different cultures, affecting all genders and sexualities . It confronted the challenges to frontline workers who want to be culturally sensitive, but need to safeguard vulnerable people, as well as awareness raising for the ongoing support that Karma Nirvana can offer the survivors of abuse.

Gill Benedikz, Forums Coordinator at PCVS who facilitates the Domestic Abuse Forum felt “the session was a real eye opener to the isolation and vulnerability that victims face. The lengths that perpetrators will go in the name of honour and avoid shaming their family, enforces the depth of  societal pressures that are placed on people within some communities. The perpetrators are more often than not loved ones, which heightens victims’ vulnerability to the point that some people don’t even realise that they are experiencing a form of abuse. Guilt and fear are large barriers to victims seeking help and standing up for their basic human rights. Charities like Karma Nirvana provide a lifeline for those affected.”

Karma Nirvana’s training marks the launch of the autumn/winter cycle of Domestic Abuse Forum meetings facilitated by PCVS. This forum aims to maintain a consistent approach when supporting Domestic Abuses Survivors in Peterborough City. Meetings will be bi-monthly around the 20th of the month and the next one will be held on October 20th at 12.30pm, over Zoom and will address the issues brought to light at the recent Karma Nirvana training and create a plan for the future. If you would like to know more about the forum and/or join us, please email communities@pcvs.co.uk .

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