Press release 7 March 2011
‘Honour’ based violence – Government plan does not do enough

The Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation today welcomed the government’s new action plan on violence against women and girls, but expressed concerns that the document does not do enough to help victims of ‘honour’ based violence.

IKWRO Director Diana Nammi said today:

“Every single day girls and women in the UK are locked up, threatened, beaten, forced into marriage and even murdered by their families in the name of so called ‘honour’. While acknowledging the specific issues faced by those women and girls, the new action plan does not do enough to protect them.”

The government has no figures on how many people are affected by ‘honour’ based violence in this country, but in 2009 police recorded over 250 incidents in London alone. IKWRO staff members suspect that across the country there are many thousands more. The IKWRO advice line received 1500 calls last year, many of them from women at risk of ‘honour’ killing.

“The government is talking about developing a training programme for police that was originally promised three years ago. What we really need is a national strategy to get to grips with this problem,” said Diana Nammi.

“On an unacceptably regular basis we encounter police, teachers, social workers and other professionals who still don’t understand this problem or how they can help victims. Last week an NHS surgery refused to display a poster advertising our services, because staff claimed it would offend men.”

IKWRO argues that a national strategy would help to ensure that all government departments and bodies are aware of the problem and are playing their part in tackling it. Their new campaign, UNITED against ‘honour’ based violence, launched today.

Diana Nammi
0207 920 6464/ 07862 733511

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