WORK to combat female genital mutilation is set to be expanded after a charity netted a £226,000 grant.
Southern Domestic Abuse Service is set to receive the Home Office cash from a pot of £17m after running a project in Portsmouth.
Professionals have been trained about FGM, diaspora communities have been involved and support has been given to women who suffered FGM.
Daughters of the women who may be at risk of cutting have also been supported.
Specialist staff will now work on other honour-based violence in communities following their work.
Claire Lambon, chief executive of SDAS, said: ‘This work will make early intervention and prevention a priority, identifying women and girls in need and intervening to make sure they get the help they need for themselves and for their children.
‘This funding means that we can build on and adapt our successful model of community engagement and identify the long-term need for specific support for harmful cultural practices in south-east Hampshire.
‘We are dedicated to advancing and safeguarding the sexual and reproductive rights, health and wellbeing, safety and dignity of women and girls.
‘Southern Domestic Abuse Service is pleased to be working in partnership with Havant Borough Council, University of Portsmouth, The Office of The Police Crime Commissioner and other partners on this important and innovative project.’
Between April last year and March there were 15 newly-recorded cases of FGM in Portsmouth.
Professor Tamsin Bradley, an expert on gender-based violence from the University of Portsmouth, will evaluate the project.
She said: ‘I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with SDAS.
‘This project will provide much-needed support to minority women who experience abuse at many levels.
‘It will also stand as an important example of what can be achieved when academics work alongside practitioners joined by a shared commitment to reduce violence against women and girls.’
The £226,480 will be given over three years.