Day to remember all honour abuse victims

Shafilea Ahmed was murdered by her parents in 2003.
Shafilea Ahmed was murdered by her parents in 2003.
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Victims of honour based violence were remembered on a special day which was supported by police in Lancashire.

TheNational Day of Remembrance was c0-ordinated by the charity Karma Nirvana and Cosmopolitan Magazine.

The particular day of July 14 was selected as it commemorates the birthdate of Shafilea Ahmed, a 17 year old Warrington schoolgirl who was murdered by her parents in 2003, after suffering years of honour based abuse, including an attempted forced marriage when her parents drugged her and flew her to Pakistan.

It is estimated there are in the region of 5,000 honour killings worldwide each year, 12 of which are within the UK.

These figures don’t take into account the high number of suicides, amongst young women, which occur annually and are thought to be connected with honour based abuse.

In 2014 it became illegal to force someone to marry, and breaching a Forced Marriage Protection Order (FMPO) is now also a criminal offence.

Forcing someone to marry can result in a prison sentence of up to seven years, while breach of a FMPO carries a maximum prison sentence of five years.

In Lancashire, 1,049 honour crimes were recorded between 2010 and 2014.

Detective Superintendent Sue Cawley, Head of Lancashire Constabulary’s Public Protection Unit, said: “Lancashire Constabulary is committed to raising awareness and tackling honour-based abuse, including forced marriage.

“We are happy and proud to support this national day of remembrance and want to give victims and survivors the confidence to come forward and report these crimes to us.

“We will continue to work with affected communities, as well as our partners, to try and make sure that we never again see another tragedy like the murder of Shafilea.”

To help raise awareness, Lancashire Constabulary has written to most secondary schools across the county to highlight the National Day of Memory for Britain’s Lost Women.

The force will also held ding a live ‘Facebook chat’ on the subject of honour based abuse and forced marriage in order to try and raise awareness.

For more information on honour based abuse and forced marriage visit the Lancashire Constabulary website at http://www.lancashire.police.uk/help-advice/personal-safety/forced-marriage-and-honour-based-violence.aspx.