Survivors Against Terror: Wife of Hartlepool man killed in Brussels bombing helps found new pressure group

The wife of a Hartlepool man who was killed in a terrorist attack in Brussels has helped to launch a new group calling for greater support for victims.

Tuesday, 30th January 2018, 5:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 30th January 2018, 7:00 am
David Dixon

Charlotte Dixon-Sutcliffe’s partner David Dixon, 50, originally from the town, died in Belgium in 2016 while travelling on a train targeted by a suicide bomber.

Mrs Dixon-Sutcliffe is one of the founding members of Survivors Against Terror set up to lobby the Government on counter-terror policies.

They include survivors and bereaved relatives of victims of Islamist bombings, IRA attacks and far-right extremist murders.

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The group said: “Our collective view is that terrorism can be defeated – but only if we pull together as a country to fight it more effectively.

“We will work to build a voice for survivors.”

Mr Dixon, an IT consultant, was among 32 people killed and 270 injured when suicide bombs ripped through Brussels’ airport and a Metro station.

Brendan Cox, the widower of murdered Labour MP Jo Cox, and Mike Haines, whose brother David was beheaded on camera after being held captive by Islamic State in Syria, are among the group’s founders.

Dan Hett and Figen Murray, the brother and mother of Manchester bombing victim Martyn Hett, Paralympian and 7/7 survivor Martine Wiltshire and Tunisia resort shooting victim Gina Van Dort are also involved.

The group aims to campaign for more effective policies to combat terror and identify gaps in support for victims and the bereaved, as well as help the public tackle hate speech and the terror threat. It is urging more people to join.

The founders added: “As a group of survivors and family members we have had mixed experiences of support from the Government and other service providers.

“In some cases this has been exemplary, in other cases families and survivors have been left with no support at all.

“We will be reaching out to other survivors and bereaved families to build a better picture of what is and isn’t working and will be talking to the government and other service providers about the gaps we identify.”

The new group also called on social media companies to take stronger action and urged traditional media to treat survivors more respectfully.

And it plans to go into schools to talk about the impact of hatred.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: “I look forward to working with Survivors Against Terror to ensure that their experiences help shape the work we do.”