Terror Attack Victims Launch Group to Fight Extremism

Terror attack survivors and bevered families have banded together in working to prevent the ideology of terror spreading and aiding the victims of terrorism.

Survivors Against Terror – is a British organisation that aims to lobby the UK government on counter-terrorism policy as well as efforts in educating about hate speech and organising more support for victims of terror attacks.

Officially launched this Monday, the group is founded by a collection of terror victims, such as Brendan Cox, husband of murdered Labour MP Joe Cox, and Mike Haines, whose brother David was beheaded on camera after being held captive by Islamic State in Syria. The group is for victims who have suffered from any acts of terrorism, including Islamic, IRA or far right. Charlotte Dixon-Sutcliffe, the wife of David Dixon, who was killed in the ‎2016 Brussels terror attacks, was a key member in founding the organisation.

Speaking to Brussels Express, Mrs Dixon-Sutcliffe outlined the organisation and its plans. “We feel that as victims of terrorism we have a unique voice in the debate on terrorism. We came together because we are driven by the same goal, to make sure that no other family goes through what we have gone through. We want to play our part in preventing future attacks and help survivors and families of the bereaved get the best support.

The organisation will lobby for more support for the police and security services, and engage in public speaking in communities and schools. They hope by doing this, they are able to stop extremism where is starts, and seek to enable cohesion and integration.

With victim support being a big facet of the organisation’s goal, they will reach out to victims to achieve a well rounded image of the issues they faced and make sure that a good support network is available for them.

The organisation will also lobby social media companies and try to influence them to regulate hate speech on their platforms as well as asking the companies to provide the respect and privacy the victims need.

The past few years have been turbulent times in Europe. Seeing some of the largest and most frequent terror attacks the continent has ever seen; with five terror attacks occurring in London in 2017.

Mrs Dixon-Sutcliffe was inspired to help those suffering due to the lack of support she received after her husband’s death. “I believe that my own truly awful experience compelled me to try and help others, not only the tragic, violent death of my beloved partner David, but the appalling treatment at the hands of the Belgian state, which made me victim again and again. We received little to no help or support  from the Belgian authorities, either morally, administratively or financially, despite me tirelessly contacting them; It was clear there was absolute chaos within the system.”

Mrs Dixon-Sutcliffe returned to the UK and In the height of her grief, reached out to other victims of terroism to share their experiences. “In February 2017, I wrote a letter to Brendan Cox. After receiving my letter, Brendan got in contact with me, and we arranged a meeting. We talked about our shared goals of tackling terrorism at its root in our communities and campaigning for better support for victims. We laid the groundwork for Survivors against terror.

British Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, welcomed the creation of the new group, saying “I have incredible admiration for the courage and dedication of everyone involved. Their ambition to bring positive change as a response to their horrific experiences is truly inspiring. I look forward to working with Survivors Against Terror to ensure that their experiences help shape the work we do.”