Category Archives: Campaigns

BBC’s ‘Inside the Foreign Office’ gives behind the scenes insight into Government efforts to prevent “honour” based violence and forced marriage

The final episode of the documentary joins the Forced Marriage Unit in a race against time to prevent a 17 year-old British girl from being forced to marry in Iraq.

In the final episode of a three part BBC series which aired last week, viewers were given insight into the work of the joint Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Home Office Forced Marriage Unit (FMU), which leads on the Government’s efforts to combat forced marriage in the UK and overseas.

The episode follows the FMU’s Sophie Lott – who was nominated for a True Honour Award earlier this year – as she and her team assist a 17 year-old British girl who was taken to Iraq by her family for a forced marriage and threatened with “honour” killing if she didn’t go through with it. From the outset of the program, we see Sophie identify this case as “honour” based violence, which is crucial to how she proceeds with assisting the girl.

Festive Appeal for our Women’s Refuge

This festive season, IKWRO is raising money to empower and support women in our specialist refuge for Middle Eastern, North African and Afghan women.

We do our best to make sure that the women in our refuge have all the support they need. We provide them with a safe and secure environment, specialist counselling and advice. However, we still have very few resources and would like to be able to provide more.

In 2016, with your help, we raised £3,470 to build a therapeutic garden where women who have escaped violence can relax, exercise and grow flowers and herbs. This year, for our festive appeal, we ask once again for your help.

Every donation and support – from £5 or £10 to sharing our appeal with your contacts – will make a big difference to the lives of the women in our refuge.

53% rise in “honour” based violence cases reported to the police since the criminalisation of forced marriage

The number of cases of “honour” based violence, forced marriage and FGM reported to the police in the UK has increased by 53% since 2014, IKWRO’s new research shows. The research involved sending Freedom of Information requests to every police force in the country.

The number of cases of “honour” based violence recorded by the police increased from 3335 in 2014 to 5595 in 2015, meaning a spike of 68% in cases in the first year following the introduction of the law criminalising forced marriage. The number of cases dropped slightly to 5105 in 2016.

However, despite significant the rise in reporting since 2014, the volume of cases referred to the Crown Prosecution Service for a charging decision is the lowest it has been for five years. The latest figures published by the CPS indicate that only 256 cases of “honour” based violence were referred to them by the police in 2016/17, just 5% of the cases reported over a similar time period. The 256 referrals resulted in 215 prosecutions and a subsequent 122 convictions.

Why banning the term “honour” based violence and conflating it with domestic violence will put victims at increased risk

The Conservative MP for Wealden Nusrat Ghani, has proposed, in a new private members Bill – the Crime (Aggravated Murder of and Violence Against Women) Bill – that the use of the widely used and accepted term “honour” killing should be banned from official publications and that this form of violence against women and girls should be conflated with domestic violence. Both of these suggestions would have dangerous consequences for those at risk of “honour” based violence and lives will be put at risk.

“Honour” based violence and domestic violence are distinct forms of violence against women and girls, each with specific dynamics. Many women experience both, whilst some are at risk of “honour” based violence and not domestic violence. Each carries particular risks and requires different safeguarding approaches. These two forms of violence must not be conflated, and if they are, it is highly likely that there will be failures in safeguarding, resulting in serious harm and even “honour” killing.

Stop CISPA