IKWRO are delighted to announce the nominees and winners of the True Honour Awards 2020-21. On behalf of IKWRO and all of the judges, we would like to congratulate every nominee for their crucial work to end “honour” based abuse and support survivors. Every single one deserves recognition and praise.

Bentley Wood High School

Central to Bentley Wood High School’s approach are its core values; Communication, Achievement, Respect, and Empathy. Students become confident, inspiring role models for future generations of young women and make positive contributions to society and their local community.  Bentley Wood High School has recognised the importance of students and staff understanding healthy and unhealthy relationships, Female Genital Mutilation, “Honour” Based Abuse, Forced Marriage and other harmful practices. They have worked closely with IKWRO to run core groups, assemblies, workshops for students and presentations for staff members. The students are now equipped with knowledge that will help protect themselves and both students and staff members are confident that they can help take safe steps to help others at risk.

Gerry Campbell MBE

Gerry is an independent consultant and former Detective Chief Superintendent. He worked at Scotland Yard for 30 years, where he led a number of high-profile policing commands. He was the Deputy National Police Chief’s Council’s Lead for “Honour” Based Abuse, Forced Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation.

Gerry lectures Undergraduate and Post Graduate Criminology and Psychology students on gender-based violence. He is a published author on Harmful Practices and is an independent Chair of Domestic Homicide Reviews. Gerry helped develop the Workplace Safespace Project for the Borough of Hillingdon. He is a Trustee at the Sharan Project and acts as an advisor supporting many diverse community projects and charities.

Gerry has worked with officials across the UK government and has advised and provided training on “honour” based abuse for key organisations including NHS England, the Royal College of Midwives, Hillingdon Local Safeguarding Children’s Board, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Bar Council, and the British Association of Social Workers. He also has worked internationally with the EU Parliament, EU Lawyers’ Foundation, International Association of Women Police and UN Women. He was a contributing author to the UN’s Manual for Police Leaders in gender responsive policing and worked with the UN’s International Organisation for Migration to train police officers in Iraq tackling violence against women and trafficking.

Detective Constable Gillian Squires

Gill joined West Midlands Police in 1992, fulfilling her childhood dream to become a police officer. In 2009, she joined the Headquarters team, specialising in “Honour” Based Abuse, Forced Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation; issues that she has become passionate about.

Gill has represented the police on the West Midlands FGM taskforce, and is a member of the Home Office FGM Stakeholder and Enforcement Groups, advising on best practice and implementation of legislation. She was seconded to the Home Office FGM Unit, where she devised and delivered a series of 10 multi agency roadshows across the UK. Recently she has worked with the Forced Marriage Unit to deliver virtual training on the use of Forced Marriage Protection Orders.

Gill has ensured the implementation of many Forced Marriage Protection Orders when others agencies have failed to take action. Gill engages with communities and works to break down barriers and promote reporting. Gill works closely with survivors and NGO’s and regularly speaks at local and national conferences.

On a voluntary, self-funded basis, Gill challenged herself to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in 2016 to raise funds for a Kenyan FGM rescue centre at the base of the mountain. Gill has returned each year since to assist in educating communities of the harmful effects of the practice and continues to fundraise to enable the centre’s vital work to continue.

Hussina Raja

Hussina Raja is a British-Kashmiri multidisciplinary artist and community activist with several years of experience working with young people, refugees and adults made vulnerable by their circumstances. Her art explores socio-political issues surrounding notions of identity, heritage, belonging and culture, through film, photography, installation, writing and performance. Hussina champions the arts as a tool for healing, expression and social change. Her artistic process includes engaging community groups, particularly those marginalised by the mainstream. Hussina’s community work utilises creative spaces to encourage self-confidence, awareness of violence against women and the opportunity to learn a new skill while having fun. Hussina fundraised for women’s domestic violence and “honour” based abuse charities BAWSO and IKWRO by putting on performances of the Vagina Monologues as part of the international V-Day campaign. The series of monologues explores themes of sexual violence, Female Genital Mutilation, female body image, birth and a variety of other topics through the eyes of women from different ages, races and backgrounds. Some of the performers were women from the charities who had never performed on stage before.

Naomi Wiseman

Naomi is a specialist child rights barrister at Garden Court Chambers. For the past two years Naomi has been a leading member of the legal team advising the ‘Safeguard Futures Ban Child Marriage’ campaign for legislative changes to end the practice of child marriage in England and Wales, led by IKWRO and their fellow Co-chairs of Girls Not Brides UK.

Naomi took up a visiting research position at the Cambridge Family Law Centre at the University of Cambridge as part of her work for the campaign, providing a comparative analysis of child marriage laws. Naomi has played a pivotal role in advising on and drafting Bills to prohibit child marriage which have been presented both in the House of Commons and the House of Lords. She has shared her expertise on the issues in many meetings and events with parliamentarians and interested parties and has been quoted in The Guardian.

Naomi has continued to represent vulnerable clients throughout the pandemic including those at risk of domestic abuse, forced marriage and FGM and provides pro bono support via referrals from IKWRO. She is currently sitting on the Justice Working Party with a particular focus on the obstacles to migrant women and their children accessing family justice.

Rebecca Laity

Rebecca has been a children’s social worker for nearly 16 years. She has increasingly seen first-hand the detrimental emotional and psychological impact of “honour” based abuse on children. Rebecca has been involved in multiple forced marriage cases and has successfully obtained many protective orders and the repatriation of a number of children from abroad, from countries including Bangladesh, Iraq, Afghanistan and Romania. She has supported these children to resettle, access support and education.

Rebecca is passionate about ensuring that all children at risk, consistently receive the best response from professionals, so that they can go on to lead their lives with the protection and support they need and deserve. She recognises the importance of working in partnership with specialist organisations like IKWRO. She frequently provides colleagues with advice and support on best practice and drafted a guide on responding to and managing cases. Rebecca has arranged, co-developed and delivered training for social care professionals and to lawyers and Judges. Rebecca is an excellent role model for other social workers and professionals.

Sarah Porter

Sarah is founder and Chair of Trustees of the wholly voluntary Black and Blue Charity, which finds innovative ways to share the message that violence is wrong and raises money to directly help people affected by violence with useful stuff, by teaming up with recognised charities and services, especially refuges. 

Whilst in a previous role, Sarah attended an event where the film Banaz: A Love Story was shown and where Diana Nammi IKWRO’s Executive Director was speaking. She was introduced to Diana who spoke with her about the need to highlight “honour” based abuse and for a refuge. Sarah says “that meeting not only opened my eyes but also made me determined to do what I could to help.” Sarah played a pivotal role in enabling IKWRO’s refuge to be established. Since then, through her Black and Blue Charity she has arranged donations of much needed items such as bedding and is very effective in amplifying IKWRO and other important campaigns against violence on social media.

Dr Seth Dassanayake

Dr Seth is a GP whose approach to supporting survivors of “honour” based violence is exemplary. He has an excellent understanding of the complexities of the psychological, physical and emotional impacts that survivors have endured. He ensures that his practice provides a warm, empathetic and supportive environment for women to speak and be heard; whilst providing consistent, timely objective healthcare, therapies and strategies as needed. For example, he appreciates the crucial importance that providing strong and robust documentation that accurately reflects the degree and scope of survivors’ medical vulnerability plays in enabling their progress. He is always interested to learn more and to develop the surgeries’ responses. During the pandemic his practice helped ensure the vaccination of frontline “honour” based abuse workers including at IKWRO. Dr Seth is a GP providing best practice for survivors of “honour” based violence.

Detective Sergeant Trudy Gittins

Since joining the West Midlands Police in 1995, most of Trudy’s service has been at the forefront of vulnerability within Neighbourhood Policing, the Criminal Investigation Department and Public Protection. Trudy is manager of the Investigative Training Team and a force coordinator for the Sentinel operation to raise awareness of hidden crimes. Trudy led her team to obtain the force’s first Forced Marriage Protection Order in 2008 for a young adult without sufficient mental capacity. Trudy has developed and delivered training to a wide variety of partners including Heathrow and Birmingham Airports, GP’s and Registrars, enhancing safeguarding and increasing referrals and rescues. She recently updated and shared across all forces an aide memoire to help support officers with safeguarding and investigative decisions in relation to Forced Marriage and “Honour” Based Abuse.

Trudy is passionate about raising awareness about Forced Marriage impacting people with Learning Disabilities and is an active member of the National Forced Marriage Partnership Board for those with Disabilities. Trudy has featured on various media platforms as an ambassador for West Midlands Police within the UK and internationally. Over recent years Trudy has spoken at Parliament and many regional and national events to raise awareness of Forced Marriage and “Honour” Based Abuse.

The True Honour Awards Judges selected four outstanding nominees as Winners of Awards of Special Recognition:

Winner of Special Recognition as Outstanding Organisation Tackling “Honour” Based Abuse

Caritas Bakhita House

Caritas Bakhita House is a refuge specialising in supporting women victims and survivors of modern-day slavery, trafficking and exploitation. The women that they support have experienced and are at risk of many forms of harm, including “honour” based abuse. Some of these women have been sold by their families and some have been told they would be married to men they did not even know. Recently they supported a resident whose bravely gave evidence resulted in her traffickers receiving sentences for a total of 31 years.

The refuge celebrated its 5th birthday during lockdown. So far they have provided vital shelter and support to 127 women from 40 countries aged 15-70 years of age. Significantly Caritas Bakhita House takes in women that other refuges may not, including women without recourse to public funds and women who sit outside the National Referral Mechanism (the official trafficking programme). They also support pregnant women and this year they welcomed three new babies.

Caritas Bakhita House is praised for creating a family-like environment where the women are safe and secure and learn many skills. It offers its residents many important services including English classes, referrals to solicitors to support with their immigration needs, financial support, meditation, therapy, art, cooking and sewing. The key workers are passionate to ensure that when they leave the refuge, the women do so feeling independent, strong and ready for the world. As one resident told them “you have walked with me all along”.

Winner of Special Recognition as Community Champion Working to End ”Honour” Based Abuse

Councillor Manjit Kaur Saini

Manjit is Ward Councillor for Leicester City Council. She is also actively involved with the local Gurdwaras (Sikh temples). Manjit commendably uses the position of trust that she has established within the community to tackle “honour” based abuse. She raises awareness about the issue across different generations at the temples, with students at colleges and schools and with professionals. Manjit volunteers with The Sharan Project and the Sikh Helpline. She assures all victims and survivors of “honour” based abuse that approach her, that she believes in them, and if needed that she will be a voice for them and she ensures that they are connected with specialist organisations that can help meet their needs. Manjit truly understands the harm caused by “honour” based abuse, as she is herself a survivor. She shared this with a Local Police Constable at a Police and Crime Commissioners event, which led her to engage with the Leicestershire Honour Based Abuse Police Team to work to encourage more victims to come forward. She is currently supporting and advocating in an “honour” based abuse case where the perpetrator threatened to share images to try control a families’ behaviour. Manjit is an inspiring role model to all.

Winner of Special Recognition for Academic Contribution to End ”Honour” Based Abuse

Dr Roxanne Khan

Dr Roxanne Khan is Director of HARM (Honour Abuse Research Matrix) in association with the Criminal Justice Partnership at the University of Central Lancashire. She launched HARM in 2017 in response to the need for a more inclusive, multi-disciplinary approach to research, policy and practice for victims and survivors of “honour” based abuse, forced and child marriage and FGM.

Roxanne is a Senior Lecturer in Forensic Psychology and Chartered Psychologist, with two decades experience working with victims and perpetrators of abuse. She maintains a long-standing research interest in the roots of aggression, seeking to understand why people inflict emotional, physical and sexual harm against others and the complex trauma this causes victims.

Roxanne has authored numerous journal articles, research reports, book chapters, and delivered presentations on her research findings for national and international audiences. In 2018, she was Guest Editor in the Journal of Aggression, Conflict & Peace Research on a record-breaking Special Issue entitled ‘Honour’ Based Abuse, Violence, and Killings. She was also first author on a research article entitled ‘Honour’-based violence in a British South Asian community, published in Safer Communities, which was awarded ‘Highly Commended’ in the 2019 Emerald Literati Awards. This year she co-authored several articles including ‘The Story of H.O.P.E. How a group of Black and Brown women reshaped domestic abuse support networks in lockdown.’

She is Chair of a select Expert Advisory Committee on Harmful Traditional Practices which published the first national workplace guidelines on Harmful Traditional Practices. HARM led a multiagency partnership to produce culturally-inclusive domestic abuse ‘honour abuse and forced marriage policy guidance for UK universities. Roxanne also submitted an expert statement to the first ever super-complaint detailing the systemic failures of Black, Asian and minority ethnic sexual abuse cases by police forces across England and Wales.

Winner True Honour Award 2020-21

Payzee Mahmod

In Spring 2019, Payzee contacted IKWRO to express her interest in campaigning. She explained that she is the younger sister of Banaz Mahmod, who tragically had her life stolen by “honour” killing. Banaz is dear to the hearts of all at IKWRO. IKWRO ran the ‘Justice for Banaz’ campaign, which helped secure the extradition from Iraqi Kurdistan of two of the murderers. Banaz inspires IKWRO’s work every day as we work to end “honour” based abuse.

Payzee wanted to speak out to help bring change and prevent others from going through the experiences that she and her sisters had been through. Like Banaz, she had been married as a child, in the UK, to an older man. Banaz became a child bride at 17 years old and Payzee became a child bride at 16 years old. She had also been through FGM, like all but one of her sisters.

As soon as she heard about IKWRO’s joint Safeguard Futures Ban Child marriage campaign with fellow Girls Not Brides UK Co-chairs, to make child marriage a crime, Payzee conveyed her passion to do everything she could to help.

Payzee has bravely come out to the world as a truly inspiring Survivor Activist. She has already achieved so much including giving a TEDx talk for the child marriage campaign at TEDxLondon Women, at the Royal Festival Hall, where she received a standing ovation. Her talk has since been viewed more than 900,000 times! The petition in Payzee’s name being co-ordinated by Freedom United and Change.org. has achieved more than 185,000 signatures. Payzee has met with MP’s and Victoria Atkins the Safeguarding Minister, and she spoke powerfully at a packed-out event, on ending child marriage at Parliament. Payzee’s advocacy in parliament led to her being named UK Parliament Volunteer of the Year 2021.

Payzee represented the Kurdish community in the Mayor of London’s campaign to tackle FGM. She is a member of the Girls Not Brides Advisory Committee. She is also Ambassador to Savera UK and to the UN Women UK Draw A Line End Violence Against Women campaign.

Payzee has taken part in numerous high-level media opportunities, including on the BBC and with The Sunday Times and The Guardian. She contributed a chapter on child marriage to Fenton and Co’s book; ‘Notes on Love: essays on life, love and loss. She reached a huge international audience when she was selected as a member of the Good Squad by Khloe Kardashian.

Payzee had a successful career in the fashion industry but realised that her true calling is campaigning for change. Originally Survivor Ambassador to IKWRO, we are so honoured that she has now officially joined IKWRO’s campaign team. Payzee is using her voice with strength, compassion and skill to speak out. She is succeeding in reaching, educating and inspiring huge new audiences to join her in taking a stand against all forms of “honour” based abuse.

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