Ask any family that has been bereaved by murder, and they will tell you that it is simply the worst possible experience in life.
Could there actually be anything worse? Anything more devastating ?
Well, yes, there could be.
A murder which occurs abroad causes not only exactly the same trauma, loss, feelings of grief and futility as if it had occurred here in the UK, but it brings with it the additional difficulties of distance, language, time difference, cost, incomprehensible legal and judicial systems, and having to deal with unfamiliar agencies such as the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, UK Police, and Coroners.
A further factor distinguishes “abroad” murder cases from the rest – they take much, much longer to resolve. Five years is not at all unusual, and in many cases, it can be a lot longer.
There are (typically) around 80 such cases each year, potentially spread over the 196 countries of the world – too few cases to make training of full time support staff a real possibility, and too diverse in location to allow professional trained support experience to be retained. Whilst police ‘Family Liaison Officers’ (FLOs) are often allocated to help these families, the fact that the cases can be spread over any of the 43 UK police authorities, prevents any build-up of specific skills in dealing with bereaved families.
At Murdered Abroad, every member, every Director, every Trustee, has personally experienced that loss, that feeling of isolation, and the certain knowledge that little or no support will be made available by UK authorities. Our members’ cases have occurred all over the world, giving us a unique perspective, and collective knowledge base, that enables personal peer support.
The time that it takes for these “abroad” cases to be resolved (if that ever happens) makes it extremely difficult for a formal organisation to provide continuity of interest, over such long periods of time.
Murdered Abroad is a purely voluntary service, involving no cost to its users, but offering a totally independent, caring, knowledgeable database and support system.