More about Micheal’s story
Micheal’s brother, Thomas Evans travelled to Somalia in 2011 to join the terrorist group Al-Shabab and was later killed in 2014. Micheal and his Mother, Sally Evans, know only too well the conflict of emotion losing a loved one to extremism and the difficulty of dealing with the inconceivable ramifications of their actions. In Micheal’s experience, there was no one to speak openly and in confidence about Thomas’ decisions and offer his family practical support both before and after he died. Rather, Micheal and Sally grappled with Thomas’ increasingly erratic withdrawal from family life and the impact of his death in isolation. On top of the emotional trauma of losing Thomas, getting through day-to-day life was also disrupted by exhausting press enquiries and unanticipated legal issues. In retrospect, Micheal has highlighted the need for a specialist service that seriously considers the impact of extremism on families and provides the support that him and so many other families in similar situations have been and continue to go without.
Micheal is now leading the SAFE project to ensure that no family affected by extremism is left feeling stigmatised, alone and unsupported through these ambiguous and challenging times.