Speaking out against hate crime

L&B Police event 09

Here’s a chance to make a difference.  Muslim women are increasingly the victims of hidden crimes of hate – verbal threats and words of abuse hurled in public places – but the crimes are rarely reported for fear of making things worse.  That is why the very enterprising charity, Amina-MWRC, is inviting police and women to meet, talk and strengthen a network of support, at a Women’s Hate Crime event in Edinburgh on Wednesday 9 December. [To register email: samina@mwrc.org.uk]

The aim is to encourage women to speak up without fear under the protection of third party reporting and the event is organised by Amina – the Muslim Women’s Resource Centre (MWRC) which has become a third party reporting agency in recent years.  Samina Ansari, a young Pakistani Scottish mother, who is the MWRC Helpline Officer for South Scotland, describes the background of increasing harrassment behind the event:

“It has been noted from our development and helpline  case work across Scotland that there has been a rise in Islamophobic and racist incidents and women are not likely to report these crimes.

“Sometimes a victim will not want police involvement for  fear the problem may get worse. But they  have an option of reporting to a third party reporting site.”

Amina–MWRC, which promotes the welfare and social inclusion of Muslim women, is one of the national agencies on a growing list of third party centres  on  the Lothian and Borders police website.  The system enables victims from minority communities to report incidents of harrassment to a third party who can offer support and advice as well as passing information on to police and local authorities

The Women’s Hate Crime event in York Place, Edinburgh on Wednesday 9 December is an opportunity for women to discuss their experiences with police and victim support agencies.  In a two-way conversation open to Muslim and other women (interpreters can be provided if needed), the idea is to raise awareness of third party reporting and provide the real life stories which will enable police to improve the service and support they offer. As always perhaps some of the most valuable discussion will arise over a shared lunch at the end of the morning.

As Samina explains in an email to Leith Open Space: “Amina – MWRC proactively wish to prevent repeat victimisation and reduce the fear of crime and harassment.”

L&B Police event2

Amina – MWRC offers a wide range of events and services including training and friendship groups,  information advice drop in, helpline, and counselling services (see the website for more details – www.mwrc.org.uk). HELPLINE 0808 801 0301

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