Governments’s Honour killings plan does not go far enough
New government plans for tackling violence against women and girls will not go far enough to help victims of “honour” violence, campaigners have claimed.
The Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation said there were not enough proposals to protect women attacked or threatened by family members. It added that its workers regularly came across police, teachers, social workers and other professionals who still did not understand the problem.
The action plan will outline the government’s next steps after publication of a strategy document in November calling for an end to violence against women.
It is expected to recommend developing police training programmes on sexual and domestic violence, including so-called honour-based violence, and continuing specialist training for prosecutors in violence against women.
The government will also announce funding of £600,000 to help develop four centres supporting victims of rape and sexual violence. These will be run by Rape Crisis in Trafford, Hereford and Exeter, and by the Survivors Trust in Bournemouth.
Last year’s document said recent immigrants should be better informed about their right not to face “honour” violence. for behaviour deemed to have “shamed” their family or community, and where they could get support.
But IKWRO said a wider number of professionals needed better training, including teachers and social workers. “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’,” Diana Nammi, from the group, said. “While promising to increase training for police and prosecutors, the new action plan does not do enough to protect these vulnerable women and girls.
“The government is talking about rolling out training promised three years ago, but what it really needs is a national strategy to get to grips with this problem.”
In 2009 police recorded over 250 incidents of “honour”-based violence in London alone. IKWRO, which took 1,500 calls on its advice line last year, said it suspected there were thousands more cases across the country.
A Home Office spokesman said: “Honour based violence is unacceptable and has no place in our society. We are determined to tackle it and all other forms of violence against women and girls.
“The government will continue to raise awareness of honour based violence and work hard to ensure that victims are aware of their rights and the support available to them.”Rachel Williams