Support for families and loved ones.
Families of loved ones killed abroad are to receive additional support at a time “when people need help the most”.
The Scottish Government is providing grant funding to Victim Support Scotland which provides a specialist service offering financial and emotional support to families resident in Scotland affected by an overseas murder or culpable homicide.
The enhancement of services for loved ones stems in part from feedback from a UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Death Abroad Consular Services and Assistance.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office also continues to partner with Victim Support Scotland to provide enhanced consular support for families who have been bereaved through homicide and in some cases of suspicious death abroad. This partnership provides a route to help families meet costs such as repatriation and translation services.
Justice Secretary Keith Brown said:
“My thoughts very much remain with the families and friends of anyone who has lost a loved one abroad. This can be especially traumatising for families given the distance and barriers involved so it is fundamental the right help is afforded such people at a time when they need help the most.
“Providing Victim Support Scotland with £40,000 for this new service will improve how victims and their families are supported following the death of a relative overseas. This approach exemplifies our commitment to supporting loved ones and victims right across the justice system.”
Julie Love, of Deaths Abroad You’re Not Alone (DAYNA), said:
“Since the change to FAI legislation to include deaths abroad this is the next big thing to happen in Scotland. After relentlessly campaigning for over 13-years since my son Colin’s death I’m genuinely thrilled this funding has been made available to Victim Support Scotland for families bereaved by murder/homicide abroad.
“Scottish Families bereaved by murder abroad have struggled for support and while this funding is most welcome there’s still work to be done to support all Scottish families and I continue to work with the UK All Parliamentary Group and other support organisations to ensure all families’ voices are heard.”
Kate Wallace, Chief Executive of Victim Support Scotland, said:
“This grant will make a tangible and practical difference to families who are bereaved by murder or culpable homicide abroad. In addition to the trauma of losing a family member in this way, families often contend with issues and additional expenditure around international travel, language differences, dealing with the legal system of another country and the repatriation of their family member.
“With this additional funding, we can now extend the support we give to families in Scotland to include people bereaved by events abroad. Victim Support Scotland welcomes the opportunity to provide this crucial additional support.”
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