IKWRO is delighted to announce the nominees and winners of the True Honour Awards 2022.
On behalf of IKWRO and all of the judges, we congratulate every nominee for their crucial work to end “honour” based abuse and support survivors. Every single one deserves recognition and praise.

Amina – Muslim and BME Women’s Resource Centre

Amina – Muslim and BME Women’s Resource Centre, is an award-winning organisation that empowers and supports Scottish Muslim and Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) women. They promote inclusivity and challenge discrimination and systemic inequality. Amina operates a national helpline to support girls and women who are experiencing “honour” based abuse in Scotland. They also tackle “honour” based abuse through advocating for women’s and girls’ rights and community education. Amina’s current ‘Say Her Name’ campaign commemorates the victims of “honour” killings through an art exhibition. They also ran the ‘You Can Change This’ campaign raising awareness about violence against women in Scotland and the “I Speak for Myself’ campaign to challenge stigma and negative stereotypes concerning Muslim women. Amina won the CEMVO Ethnic Minority Impact Award for contributing to positive social change within Scottish society. Amina was also awarded the Good Governance Award and the Volunteer Friendly Award.

Inspector Allen Davis

Inspector Allen Davis joined the Metropolitan Police Service in 1996 and has an extensive background in developing a multi-agency strategic response to complex Public Protection issues. He is the Metropolitan Police Service operational lead for Harmful Practices including FGM, Forced Marriage, “Honour” Based Abuse and Abuse Linked to Witchcraft and Spirit Possession, working at both a national and international level. Allen led on developing the US / UK Law Enforcement Proclamation of Interagency Support on FGM Investigations and is the author of the Guidance for Schools and Colleges: Safeguarding Young People from Sexual Violence, Child Sexual Exploitation and Harmful Practices. He is Deputy Chair of the National Working Group on Abuse Linked to Witchcraft and Spirit Possession and is national lead for Operation Limelight; a multi-agency safeguarding operation that focuses on Harmful Practices at the UK border.

Domestic Abuse Volunteer Support Services (DAVSS)

Domestic Abuse Volunteer Support Services is a charity based in West Kent that provides vital support services for anyone experiencing domestic abuse or “honour” based abuse, through an effective professional volunteering model. They run a helpline, carry out risk assessments, provide advice and advocacy, enable access to free legal advice and run Peer Support Groups and training programmes for survivors. They also deliver safe and healthy relationship courses in schools and colleges, train business and community groups and raise public awareness. DAVSS was the first agency in West Kent to successfully apply for a Forced Marriage Protection Order for a young girl whose family wanted to force her to go to Pakistan to enter a child marriage. In 2019, DAVSS received the Queens Award for Voluntary Services.

Richard Holden MP

Richard Holden MP is the Member of Parliament for North West Durham and is Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Richard took the parliamentary lead in identifying virginity testing as a form of violence against women and girls taking place in the UK that must be stopped. He introduced a private member’s Bill calling for a ban of virginity testing. When IKWRO approached Richard to widen his focus to also banning hymenoplasty, ensuring extra-territorial effect and securing government funding for education in schools and the community to end these harmful practices, he committed wholeheartedly to collaboratively achieving these changes as quickly as possible. Richard worked closely with IKWRO, other charities, the Royal College of Midwives, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and pro-bono lawyers. Together we held a successful parliamentary drop-in event, achieving 50 signatures of support from MPs to back new Clauses to the Health and Care Bill. Richard helped maintain pressure on the government, which has now resulted in the ban of both virginity testing and hymenoplasty being added as amendments to the Bill and a government commitment to a wider education programme.

Shabana Kausar

Shabana Kausar has worked locally, nationally and internationally to address forced marriage and “honour” based abuse through a number of roles, centering the experiences of minoritised women. In 2009, Shabana helped establish The Sky Project, the first charity in Bristol dedicated to tackling these issues, by improving professionals’ skills and confidence in meeting the needs of survivors. In 2017 Shabana set up the first Harmful Practices Operational Group in Haringey and in 2020, she secured government funding for a Harmful Practices Coordinator for the Tri-Borough. She commissioned the Angelou Partnership, a nationally recognised service, which consists of a number of specialist by and for services that tackle “honour” based abuse. Shabana also delivers training and undertakes consultancy to improve responses, including on domestic homicide reviews to review practice and improve prevention. Shabana recently started a PhD researching the ways global education can be improved to better address the human rights of women.

Imran Manzoor

Imran Manzoor is the Founder and Director of Breaking the Silence, an organisation based in Bradford, that supports South Asian men who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse and men at risk of “honour” based abuse, forced marriage and domestic abuse. In collaboration with partner agencies, Imran has prevented several at risk young men from boarding flights, and has supported others to return safely. Imran also runs Mashwara, a therapy service for black and Asian men. He educates front-line services on the plight of young men from South Asian communities who experience “honour” based abuse and spiritual abuse, on the intersection of gender and race and is an associate at Safelives, Diversity Matters, and H.O.P.E. Training.

Annabel Moores

Annabel Moores is the Violence Against Women and Girls Lead for a local authority. She previously worked with Advance and Refuge. She is dedicated to ensuring better awareness of “honour” based abuse across the council and it’s partners. Annabel believes that partnership is key and she oversees and promotes collaboration with specialist services. She ensures that their expert input, and the voices of survivors, guide the local authorities’ strategic response to ending “honour” based abuse. Annabel also prioritises support for women who have No Recourse to Public Funds. She is part of a working group of public and third sector providers working together to collect data to understand the local picture of “honour” based abuse to improve responses to better meet survivor’s needs.

Sabeena Pirooz

Sabeena Pirooz is a solicitor and the Director of The Sky Project, a Bristol based charity that delivers accredited training on forced marriage and “honour” based abuse, to a variety of groups and professionals. The Sky Project was founded in response to research that raised concerns that forced marriages were going under the radar in Bristol as many children were not returning to school. Sabeena, and most of the team, run the charity pro-bono, and most know people who have been impacted by forced marriage, so are driven from the heart. The charity is currently focussing on police training, as in the current climate, they want to help rebuild trust. Sky Project held a successful conference on “honour” based abuse last year, with high-profile speakers. Sabeena chairs the Bristol Forced Marriage Working Group bringinging key organisations together to share and promote best practice

Savera UK

Savera UK is a leading national charity, based in Liverpool, tackling “honour” based abuse, forced marriage and female genital mutilation. They support survivors of any age, culture, sexuality or gender, who are at risk, to leave abusive environments and find their savera, meaning ‘new beginning’ in Hindi. Savera UK provides a national helpline, life-saving services and educates and empowers professionals, young people and the general public through research, consultancy and training services. They campaign to eliminate “honour” based abuse and challenge harmful attitudes, prejudice and practices that violate individual human rights. The Savera UK Youth programme was established in 2017 to inspire the next generation and encourage them to speak out against harmful practices and educate their peers on the issues.

Baroness Sugg CBE

Baroness Sugg CBE is a life peer with a clear commitment to advancing women’s and girls’ rights. She has worked closely with IKWRO and stakeholders to achieve a ban of the harmful practices of both virginity testing and hymenoplasty. She helped maintain pressure on the government to ensure that the legislative opportunity to achieve these vital changes within the Health and care Bill was not missed. Her oral question led to the Minister announcing publicly for the first time that he would be pushing for a ban of hymenoplasty as soon as possible, which was reported by the BBC. Baroness Sugg’s dedication was demonstrated when she stayed into the early hours to speak at the debate on these harmful practices at the House of Lords. Baroness Sugg is now set to support IKWRO and their fellow Girls Not Brides Co-Chairs’ Safeguard Futures Ban Child Marriage campaign, by taking Pauline Latham MP’s Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Bill through the House of Lords.

April Dawn Ventour

April Dawn Ventour is Director of Creating Equalz, which finds meaningful solutions to health and race inequalities. She runs a recovery group for Black and Brown women impacted by domestic abuse. April works with schools and community to understand the impact of FGM and “honour” based abuse. Projects she has contributed to include; Impact of Domestic Abuse for BAME women in Northampton. April is a broadcaster on the Women with Soul Show and Conversations with AprilsDawn on N-Live Radio. April features in the H.O.P.E digital ART project, #12women, celebrating black, Asian and minority ethnic women working, advocating and campaigning within the domestic abuse & sexual violence sector.

Nafsika Vasileiadou

Nafsika Vasileiadou is a solicitor working in refugee, human rights and immigration law. She specialises in protection matters, applications on the basis of domestic violence and trafficking claims. She has particular experience in complex cases involving “honour” based abuse, gender-based violence and in assisting individual made vulnerable by their circumstances. Nafsika promotes the importance of a holistic approach to supporting survivors and is dedicated to fighting for gender equality and women’s rights through her work and beyond through her volunteering.

Sarah Wigley

Sarah Wigley is the founder of SW Associates, who specialise in supporting frontline professionals and agencies, whose work involves responding to victims of domestic abuse and “honour” based abuse. Sarah has trained thousands of professionals including police, social care and domestic abuse workers. She has worked with H.O.P.E Training for over 10 years and co-wrote and delivers their “honour” based abuse and forced marriage training. She has also been an associate with Safelives for more than 12 years. Sarah is a vocal activist and ally and supports the centering of women with lived experience.

Sahar Zand

Sahar Zand is a multimedia reporter and filmmaker who has fronted and produced a range of award-winning stories from across the world including for the BBC, Channel 4, ITV and Vice. Sahar escaped Iran aged 12 with her mother and sister, before relocating between refugee camps across Europe. The adversity she faced during these years, captured in her radio documentary ‘Me, the refugee’, has given her insight into the experiences of marginalised communities and enables her to report from a unique perspective rarely seen in mainstream media. Sahar’s recent documentary ‘Britain’s Virginity Clinics Uncovered’, which featured Payzee Mahmod, IKWRO Campaigner, exposed clinics making money from virginity testing and hymenoplasty. Sahar also interviewed Payzee for her recent radio documentary ‘My sister Banaz – killed for loving the wrong man’, for the BBC, focussing on IKWRO’s Safeguard Futures Ban Child Marriage campaign.

Winner of Special Recognition of Professional Working to End “Honour” Based Abuse

Mindy Mahil

Mindy Mahil served as a police officer for 30 years. The final 4 years of his career were with the Public Protection Unit where Mindy specialised in “honour” based abuse cases. Mindy helped achieve the first Forced Marriage conviction in England in 2017. He achieved a second in 2020. Working with foreign embassies and NGOs, Mindy has helped to repatriate over 25 survivors of forced marriage and FGM. After retiring from West Midlands Police in 2019, Mindy returned as an investigator for the Public Protection Unit and he is currently the force’s subject matter expert for forced marriage and “honour” based abuse. In recognition of his expertise, Mindy is on the national crime agency register of experts. Mindy provides advice to, and trains; police forces, partner agencies, social workers and those working within the education sector. He also delivers training for the Forced Marriage Unit and as an associate for Safelives. Mindy is an Ambassador to the ‘The Sharan Project’. He contributed to the publication ‘Men Masculinities and Honour Based Abuse’ and he has been featured in two episodes of the BBC documentary series, ‘The moment of proof.’

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

Professor Aisha K. Gill CBE

Professor Aisha K. Gill, Ph.D. (University of Essex) CBE is a Professor of Criminology at the University of Roehampton. Her main focus areas include health and criminal justice responses to violence against Black, minority ethnic and refugee women in the UK, Afghanistan, Iraqi Kurdistan, Libya, India and Pakistan. Gill is often called on to commentate in the news on early, child and forced marriage, “honour” based abuse, domestic abuse and sexual violence. She has published widely in peer-reviewed journals. In 2015, she was involved in a research project commissioned by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary documenting the experiences of victims/survivors of “honour” based abuse, including forced marriage and female genital mutilation. In 2017, she was funded by the Hertfordshire Police Crime Commissioner to conduct research on “honour” based abuse, forced marriage and female genital mutilation. In April 2021, Gill was appointed as one of five judges for CEDAW’s People’s Tribunal hearing on women’s human rights in the UK. From December 2021, Gill will be working on a Home Office funded research project that focuses on better understanding the motives and patterns of perpetration of family violence, in Black and racially minoritised and LGBTQI+ communities. Gill has actively improved victim-support policies. Her contribution as an expert witness has helped to achieve justice for a number of survivors of “honour” based abuse. In June 2020, she set up an emergency COVID-19 fund for survivors of abuse with no recourse to public funds’, which has raised over £87,000.

Joint Winners of Special Recognition as Survivor Activist Tackling “Honour” Based Abuse

Renu Tina Kenworthy

Renu Tina Kenworthy came to the UK when she was 21 years old. Two years later she got married in India and returned to live with her husband in England. Within weeks, she knew that her husband was not the right person for her, but she was repeatedly told that she was expected to follow in the same footsteps as her grandmother, mother and sisters; to be a respectful daughter, sister, wife and mother. The marriage was extremely abusive and contributed to one of her four sons being stillborn. Tina tried to leave the abusive marriage several times, but was pressured to remain and to not take any steps that could be seen to bring shame and dishonour to her family in the UK or India. Tina, her children and her neighbours, all called the police many times, and she repeatedly felt let down by them. After 15 years of abuse, Tina bravely left the marriage for good. After attending a 12 week Domestic Abuse Recovery Toolkit Programme, she decided to speak out about her experiences of “honour” based abuse and domestic abuse, to help other women access support. Tina has shared her experiences through the media and at events, including with Leicestershire Police, at the South Asian Heritage Month Domestic Abuse Awareness Discussion, and as part of the 16 days of Activism with Zinthiya Trust and H.O.P.E training and Consultancy. Tina is celebrated in the #100Women H.O.P.E Digital ART Project. She describes herself now as “not just surviving, but thriving”.

Farhana Raval

Farhana Raval is an inspiring survivor activist. Almost 20 years after being coerced into marriage aged 16, she reaslised that she was a victim of what should be a clear-cut crime; child marriage. Farhana is sure that had child marriage been a crime at the time, it would not have happened to her. She was taken to Bangladesh for the child marriage under false pretences, and was forced to remain there until she became pregnant. It took years for her to be able to leave the marriage. Farhana was determined to pursue her education and now has a successful career as a tax accountant.
Farhana is inspiringly campaigning, with the Girls Not Brides UK Co-chairs, to change the law to ban child marriage. She has shared her experiences with the All Party Parliamentary Group for “honour” abuse and with print and broadcast media, including BBC News, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Asian Network, The Guardian, The Independent and The Telegraph. As a survivor ambassador for Karma Nirvana, Farhana has also spoken at training seminars and workshops attended by immigration officials, police, education representatives and health authorities on the subject of “honour” based abuse, raising awareness of the impact of forced and child marriage. By bravely speaking out as a survivor and influencing change, Farhana is ensuring that girls will be safeguarded from “honour” based abuse and have brighter futures.

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

Sikh Women’s Aid

Sikh Women’s Aid is the first by and for service aimed at Sikh/Panjabi women and children who are victims of domestic and sexual violence, where “honour” and shame are used to suppress and silence victims. The founding team has a combined 40 years of experience supporting South Asian victims/survivors of abuse. They provide support and education via crisis management, therapeutic and housing support. Sikh Womens Aid are expanding their services to include early intervention and prevention and mental health and resilience building via a dedicated helpline, bi-lingual support workers and trained volunteers.
In 2021 Sikh Women’s Aid launched the first ever research of its kind gathering grassroot experiences of the prevalence and impact of domestic and sexual violence in the Sikh and Panjabi community. Damning findings revealed that 70% of respondents had suffered domestic abuse; nearly half from more than one perpetrator. A third of all respondents had experienced Child Sexual Abuse/Exploitation and one in seven had more than one perpetrator. The research has been widely reported on BBC Woman’s hour, on multiple BBC regional radio programmes and in The Observer.

Winner of Special Recognition of Parliamentarian Tackling “Honour” Based Abuse

Pauline Latham MP OBE

Pauline Latham OBE is the Member of Parliament for Mid Derbyshire. Her Marriage and Civil Partnerships (Minimum Age) Bill is currently going through Parliament. The bill will set a blanket minimum age of marriage in England & Wales, including both registered and unregistered marriages, and will apply extraterritorially too, to protect children who are taken outside of the UK to marry.
When IKWRO, along with their fellow Girls Not Brides UK Co-Chairs, first met with Pauline several years ago to discuss changing the law to end child marriage, Pauline said that she was determined to see it through and tell her grandchildren that she had. Last month Pauline’s grandchildren were at the House of Commons to hear her give her speech at her Bill’s third reading.
Pauline has shown unwavering commitment and tenacity to win government and cross-party support and get her Bill to this stage. This is her third attempt, working with the Girls Not Brides UK coalition, to get it through Parliament. The bill was recognised by the responsible Minister as one of the most important private member’s bills in memory. It will bring England & Wales into line with its international commitments on ending child marriage, and safeguard the futures of many thousands of children.

Winner of the
True Honour Award 2022

Naila Amin

Naila Amin is an inspiring survivor activist and a student. She was born in Pakistan and migrated to the United States when she was four years old to live in the New York suburbs with her family.
When Naila was 8 Years old, she was promised to her cousin, who was 13 years older than her. Aged 15, Naila was taken to Pakistan and forced to live with her cousin/husband. She was held there against her will, until the U.S. authorities were alerted and she was rescued by the State department in 2005.
Naila began her activism when she was 25 years old, sharing her experiences and raising awareness that child marriage is an American issue. A year later, in 2016, she founded the Naila Amin Foundation.
In 2018, Naila helped to influence New Jersey to raise its minimum age for marriage, with or without parental consent, to 18. It was only the second state to do so. Shortly afterwards, Naila went to New York state Assemblyman Philip Ramos and influenced him to introduce legislation to ban child marriage in New York State.
Due to the pandemic, Naila saw the proposed bill start to “slip through the cracks”, so she emailed every Assembly member and senator in New York state, sharing her own experience and asking them to support the bill. She says “I think it was about 150 Assembly members and it took me days, but I did it. We can’t let this happen to our children anymore.” Once Naila found out that the bill had cleared unanimously, she called the office of Andrew Cuomo, the then Governor of New York, daily, to urge him to sign it. When Cuomo finally signed the bill, making New York the sixth state to ban child marriage, Naila says “I just started crying tears of happiness”. The law – which is called Naila’s Law – came into effect in summer 2021.

Naila helps many young women by advising them and connecting them with the appropriate resources and legal services and plans to open the first refuge in the U.S. to house girls escaping forced marriages and “honour” based abuse. Her goal is to end child marriage in all 50 U.S. states. She is currently working on a federal bill to raise the minimum age for spousal sponsorship to 18 and Naila hopes to expand her work Internationally.

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