17,000 ‘honour’ crime victims every year, police say

    About 17,000 women in Britain are being subjected to “honour” related violence, including murder, every year, according to police chiefs. The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) said official figures on forced marriages are the tip of the iceberg. It warns that the number of girls falling victim to forced marriages, kidnappings, sexual assaults, beatings and even murder by relatives intent on upholding the “honour” of their family is up to 35 times higher than official figures suggest. The crisis, with children as young as 11 having been sent abroad to be married, has prompted the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to call on British consular staff in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan to take more action to identify and help British citizens believed to be the victims of forced marriages in recent years. The Home Office is drawing up an action plan to tackle honour-based violence which “aims to improve the response of police and other agencies” and “ensure that victims are encouraged to come forward with the knowledge that they will receive the help and support they need”. A Civil Protection Bill coming into effect later this year will give courts greater guidance on dealing with forced marriages. Commander Steve Allen, head of ACPO’s honour-based violence unit, said the true toll of people falling victim to brutal ancient customs is “massively unreported” and far worse than is traditionally accepted.http://themuslimweekly.com/newsdetails/fullstoryview.aspx?NewsID=580B579C198BAAC84C992A38&MENUID=HOMENEWS&DESCRIPTION=UK%20News

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