Every single day girls and women in the UK are locked up, threatened, beaten and forced into marriage by their families in the name of so-called “honour”. Some are mutilated, or even murdered.
The government estimates that there are 12 “honour” killings per year in this country, but it does not collect data on how many people are affected by other forms of “Honour” Based Violence. In 2011 IKWRO undertook research and found that over 2800 incidents were reported to police across the country in 2010. It is likely that many more went unreported.
While awareness of “honour” based violence has increased in recent years, many police officers, teachers, social workers and other professionals still don’t really understand it, and some local authorities aren’t taking the issue seriously enough. As a result charities like IKWRO have to pick up the pieces when girls and women don’t get the help they need.
Our campaign is calling on the government to step up its response to “Honour” Based Violence. This means implementing the commitments that the government has already made, such as to raise awareness of “Honour” Based Violence in local areas where the response has been poor, and to train police officers and specialist prosecutors.
In the longer term, the government must go further, and must work with the police and local authorities on a new national “honour” based violence strategy to ensure that victims are able to get the protection they need at the earliest possible stage. More must also be done to bring perpetrators to account and to send out a stronger message that violence committed in the name of “honour” is unacceptable.