The Healing Balm of Consolation

Midddlesex Masons Supporting Domestic Abuse Charities –

On Wednesday 23rd June 2021, a report was published by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services which stated that a high percentage of domestic abuse cases are never heard in the Courts.

It recommended that Police forces must review why large numbers of domestic cases are being dropped, after victims faced greater risk during the pandemic, according to the police watchdog.

A spokesperson for the Inspectorate said that on average, three in every four domestic abuse cases in England and Wales are being closed without charges being laid.

In the year up to March 2020, 54.8% cases were dropped after the victim did not support the prosecution of a suspect, even though charges can still be brought without the victim’s consent if there is other evidence.

Around 20% of cases did not proceed due to evidential difficulties.

Zoe Billingham, Inspector of the Constabulary, told Sky News that often police officers were not being supervised and checked as to whether it was reasonable for cases to be closed.

She also stated that it was important that the Police better used the powers they had to protect victims of domestic abuse.

Masonic Hands – Guided by Justice –

This statement coincided with the initiative taken by the Provincial Grand Charity Steward, W Bro John Briggs, who through the Middlesex Masonic Charity (MMC) had been able to arrange £12,800 of donations to several charities engaged in supporting men, women and children who were victims of domestic violence and abuse.

Interestingly the definition of domestic abuse is the systematic use of power and coercive control in an intimate or family setting.

It can take many forms, not just physical.

It is gender-based, most commonly perpetrated by men against women.

However, it occurs in both heterosexual and same-sex relationships, and men can also be abused.

Not only the commonly perceived notions of abuse, but also the overall definition includes Forced Marriage, Honour based violence and FMG.

The Charities to benefit were:

Jewish Women’s Aid

Jewish Women’s Aid received £3,000 from the MMC.

The Charity deals specifically with Jewish domestic matters.

This allows a better understanding of the community and women may feel happier in talking to other Jewish women about family difficulties.

The Brethren will know there are many Jewish communities in the area of Middlesex.

www.jwa.org.uk

HESTIA

HESTIA was given £2,000.

Although Head Office is in Borough, Hestia’s facilities extend all over the Metropolitan area including Middlesex.

They provide a number of services which includes support for victims of modern slavery, women and children who have experienced domestic abuse, young care leavers and older people.

From giving someone a home, to helping them to get the right mental health support, the charity supports people at the moment of crisis which enables them to build a life beyond their trauma.

The Charity is supported by nearly 950 volunteers across London who provide specialist skills such as art therapy, yoga, IT, gardening and cooking, as well as befriending and fundraising.

www.hestia.org

DAWN Charitable Trust

The Charity DAWN based in Harrow received a grant of £2,500.

DAWN is a multilingual, culturally appropriate, professional services to support the emotional and mental health wellbeing of the community.

This is an inclusive service that has a person-centred approach and is completely bespoke and tailored to the needs of the individual.

Counselling is delivered by professionally qualified multilingual individuals from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in the following languages: Hindi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Marathi, Urdu, Dari, Farsi, Pashto, Cantonese, Tamil, Bengali, Sylheti, Somali, Romanian, Polish, and a basic command of: German, Russian and Arabic.

www.dawncharitabletrust.org.uk

Refuge

REFUGE received £3,000 from the MMC.

REFUGE – a pathfinder domestic violence charity opened the world’s first safe house for women and children escaping domestic violence in Chiswick, West London in 1971.

Since that time, Refuge has led the campaign against domestic violence.

They have grown to become the country’s largest single provider of specialist domestic and gender-based violence services.

The charity supports over 6,000 women and children on any given day.

www.refuge.org.uk

NSPCC

NSPCC was also given a grant of £2,300.

There is no doubt that all Provincial Brethren will know the essential work that the NSPCC does for the nations’ children who are under threat.

There is a deep undercurrent of care to be found in the following areas: emotional abuse, child neglect, bullying and cyberbullying, child trafficking and sexual exploitation, grooming, physical abuse and much more.

www.nspcc.org.uk

Given the contents of the report just published and mentioned at the beginning of the article, the timing of these charitable gifts could not have been better.

Domestic violence against women, children and men is a blight on our society and it is encouraging that we as Middlesex Freemasons can play a part in helping.

See also:-

Huge concern’ as three-in-four domestic abuse cases fail to end in charges; ITV News

Domestic Abuse Guidelines for Prosecutors

Domestic Abuse Referrals from the Police to CPS – Troubleshooting Guide

Charity Update –

W Bro John Briggs, Provincial Grand Charity Steward has been an exceptionally busy person during the last year or so.

52 individual charities in 9 charity sectors have benefitted These range across the Middlesex Provincial territory.

This is immense but does not include the substantial number of care homes who have also received many gifts during the year.

We can be proud of all achievements and must continue to provide the healing balm of consolation to all those who will call upon us in distress, need or danger.

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