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 family’s 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.

Commenting, Christina McKelvie MSP, SNP MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse said:

“My thoughts are always with families who have lost loved ones abroad. This trauma is often made worse by the physical distance that barriers the bereaved and their lost loved one.

“Therefore, I am very pleased to see that £40,000 has been allocated to Victim Support Scotland. It will improve how victims and their families are supported through their time of need, and it exemplifies the emphasis that the Scottish government places on compassion.”

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.”