Category Archives: Campaigns

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

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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.

Public seminar at UK parliament

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Public Seminar at UK Parliament on Sharia Law, Legal Pluralism and Access to Justice

Sharia Law, Legal Pluralism and Access to Justice is hosted by IKWRO and several organisations and activists to debate and express concerns about the increasing state recognition and promotion of religious-based arbitration and mediation forums, such as ‘Sharia courts’ in the UK. These councils operate as parallel legal systems in which women are treated unfairly, including when seeking divorce or custody over children. The seminar will examine the range of injustices faced by women who engage with all forms of religious arbitration forums and sets out the reasons behind a growing campaign to end state legitimization of legal pluralism in the UK.

Religious arbitration and women’s rights

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A meeting for BME women

In an Open Letter to Theresa May, an unprecedented number of BME women’s rights organisations and campaigners signed a letter warning against the rapid slide towards privatised justice and parallel legal systems in the UK.

Stop CISPA