What is Halo Project?
The Halo Project charity is a specialist national charity that supports victims and survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence from Black and minoritised communities and offers specialist support on hidden harms such as honour-based abuse, forced marriage and FGM.
We empower victims and survivors through emotional, practical, and cultural support, safe and secure accommodation at our specialist refuge, and trauma-informed community education programmes for service-users – Halo Hope and Halo Exhale, which aid in recovery and prevent revictimisation.
We also work with key partners including statutory service providers such as the police, social services and health, education, and housing providers, to ensure the necessary safeguarding is in place to protect victims and reduce risk.
To increase awareness of hidden harms and reach out to more victims and survivors, we also provide professional safeguarding advice and accredited training to agencies and frontline professionals, as well as multi-agency working acting to amplify victim voices and needs.
The charity also introduced student Halo Hubs – a first in the country.
Why is Halo Project needed?
There are approximately 12 reported honour killings per year in the United Kingdom however this statistic is heavily underreported and does not consider those taken abroad who do not return and where their whereabouts are unknown.
There are also other offences that are committed due to so-called ‘honour’, which include threatening behaviour, assault, rape, kidnap, abduction, forced abortion, threats to kill and false imprisonment – the statistics of these crimes are also vastly underreported.
National statistics show that South Asian females under the age of 24 are 2 to 3 times more likely to commit suicide than their Caucasian counterparts. In the UK, there have been several female suicides by fire, as well as murders of women and children who have been perceived to have brought “shame” or “dishonour” to their families by not conforming to what the family, and often entire community, believes to be the correct code of behaviour.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has been a criminal offence in the UK since 1985. The silence surrounding this illegal practice allows child abuse to flourish and over 3 million girls worldwide are at risk of being cut. In the first quarter of 2022 alone, there were 1,685 individual women and girls who had been identified as having FGM by GP practices and NHS trusts in the UK.
Due to the hidden nature of these harms, it is imperative that Halo works in partnership with as many agencies, organisations, and educational institutions as possible to raise awareness and inform victims and survivors of where to go to get support.
This is where you can get involved and speak out about these hidden harms to your fellow students.