Apna Haq in Rotherham received a cheque for £15,000 from the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner today, (Thursday, 20 August) from his 2015/16 Community Grant Scheme.

The funding was awarded to help them continue to provide a service across Rotherham of raising awareness within the Asian and BME communities to the realities of child sexual exploitation, domestic abuse, forced marriage and honour-based violence.

Set up 21 years ago as a voluntary organisation, Apna-Haq provide support and advocacy for women in Rotherham faced with many cultural difficulties, including language barriers and the understanding of abuse within families.

Dr Billings said: ”We are all very aware now of child sexual exploitation, both historically and on-going, not least because next week it will be one year since Professor Alexis Jay published her report on CSE in Rotherham. While South Yorkshire Police are now very focused on bringing perpetrators to justice, I welcome the help of groups such as Apna Haq in raising awareness and providing support to individuals at risk of harm.

“I have awarded this funding from my grant scheme to allow Apna Haq to continue with their work in Rotherham raising awareness among women within minority communities. All forms of abuse are both legally and morally wrong and women and girls should be helped to recognise when it is happening and be encouraged to seek help.”

Zlakha Ahmed said: “Women have a right to live their lives free of violence and intimidation. Apna Haq offer a culturally appropriate service, and challenge the understandings around the cause of abuse.

“Awareness raising and changing attitudes has a beneficial effect in enabling victims to come forward. This funding from the Commissioner will allow us to reach more women in the Asian and BME communities of Rotherham by putting on focus groups and workshops in schools.”

For more information on Apna-Haq please see their website