On Thursday 9th December 2021, the Home Office published official statistics showing an 18% rise in offences related to “honour” based abuse reported to the police in England and Wales. Of the 2,725 cases recorded in the year ending March 2021, 125 were for forced marriage and 78 were for Female Genital Mutilation. Additionally, 16% were for assault with injury, 15% and 14%  for controlling and coercive behaviour. Significantly, this timeframe covers periods where the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions were in place.

Diana Nammi, Executive Director, IKWRO – Women’s Rights Organisation says:

“Over this period, the pandemic has had devastating consequences for women and girls at risk of “honour” based abuse. Many have found themselves trapped, unsafe at home, with multiple perpetrators under suffocating surveillance. This prevented so many women and girls in danger from being able to reach out for help. At the same time, as contact those women and girls would ordinarily have had with schoolteachers, health professionals or social workers, ceased, countless safeguarding opportunities will have been missed. The fact there was still an 18% rise in reporting to the police, demonstrates that there is a parallel pandemic of violence against women and girls and “honour” based abuse. The reported cases are the tip of the iceberg and at IKWRO we have seen an intensification of the complexity, severity, and levels of trauma in “honour” based abuse. Now, as we see the pandemic escalating once again, the government must act to ensure that there is sustainable funding for specialist services like IKWRO, who have the trust of women and girls and are best placed to provide safeguarding and long-term support.

We also call for a national review of statutory responses to “honour” based abuse. Six years on from the first national review of policing of honour-based abuse, which IKWRO successfully campaigned for, many of its crucial recommendations have still not been implemented. Major changes are urgently required across all statutory bodies, in particular social services to ensure that girls and women are properly safeguarded and supported.”

If you are worried about someone knowing you have visited this website please read this safety information.

There is an escape button at the bottom right corner of the page opposite this box. Please test it so you know how it works.