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Archive for July, 2017

HONOUR CRIMES What is an honour killing and what happened in Kingston?

A MAN, 33, has appeared in court after the body of a 19-year-old woman was found in a fridge in a London home following a suspected honour killing.

But what are honour killings and how common are they in the UK?

What is an honour killing?

Honour killings are committed within families or social groups with the purpose of controlling behaviour, reports the Honour Based Violence Awareness Network (HBVAN).

Such murders are carried in the name of protecting cultural beliefs or honour.

Those targeted are believed to have shamed their family or community.

Reasons given for this can include refusing an arranged marriage, entering a relationship with someone disapproved of, renouncing faith and behaving or dressing in a way thought to be inappropriate.

Both men and women can be victims of honour killings, although women are more commonly targeted.

The HBVAN stresses that there is little scriptural support for honour killings in any major religion, and it has been roundly condemned by several high status religious leaders.

Two men charged over suspected ‘honour killing’ of teenager whose body was found in London fridge

Two men have been charged in connection with the suspected “honour killing” of a teenager whose body was found in a fridge.

The Metropolitan Police said a 33-year-old man has been charged with the murder, rape and kidnap of the 19-year-old woman.

He is further charged with the rape, attempted murder and with the kidnap of a second victim, a woman aged in her 20s.

A second man, aged 28, has been charged with the kidnap of both the 19-year-old woman and the woman aged in her 20s.

The body of the teenager was found inside a fridge at a house in Kingston three hours after she was reported missing along with the older woman last Wednesday.

Police said the women may have been forced to go to the address by a man they both knew before being subjected to a “violent attack”.

Teenager’s body found in fridge in suspected London honour killing

Detectives are investigating the murder of a young woman in a possible so-called honour killing.

The body of the woman, who was believed to be 19, was found at a house in Kingston, London, just three hours after she was reported missing along with another woman, who is believed to be in her twenties.

Police said the pair may have been forced to go to the address by a man they both knew before being subjected to a “violent attack”

The older woman managed to escape to get help and was admitted to a south London hospital with stab and slash wounds on Wednesday evening before police went to the house in Coombe Lane West.

Referring to reports the victim had been found “cut up in a fridge”, the Metropolitan Police insisted the dead woman was discovered “intact” at around 8pm.

Asked if police were looking into whether the murder was being treated as a so-called honour killing, the Met said detectives are keeping an “open mind”.

Safe houses set up in secret Tees Valley locations for domestic abuse victims

VULNERABLE women will be given a new lease of life with the launch of a housing service for those fleeing abuse.

The Navigator Scheme, recently launched in six local authorities across the North-East, will provide accommodation to women who cannot live in traditional refuges.

There are a many reasons why some escaping domestic abuse and violence may not thrive in a communal refuge, according to charity My Sister’s Place.

Some women may not be comfortable living in such an environment for cultural reasons, while others may have struggled to find stable accommodation due to mental health issues, criminal records or issues with substance misuse.

The charity is hoping the acquisition of new properties will help those who are unable to live in traditional refuges the opportunity to get back on their feet again.

Based in Middlesbrough, My Sister’s Place were recently given the keys to one property in the town and are in the process of acquiring another, with the view of expanding the service if needed.

As part of the project, other organisations in Redcar, Hartlepool, Stockton, Darlington and Durham are working with local authorities to help women.

Middlesbrough’s Halo Project, which helps victims of honour based violence and forced marriages, are working to manage housing specifically for women from black, minority and ethnic backgrounds.

Police fear young girls are being ‘taken on holiday for FGM’

Patrols are being stepped up at London airports amid fears children are being taken on ‘holiday’ for female genital mutilation (FGM).

Police say they will target flights to-and-from countries where the prevalence of cutting young girls is high, such as Guinea, Somalia and Sudan.

FGM is the altering or causing injury to the female genital organs for non medical reasons, including removal of the clitoris or labia.

Experts say it is impossible to know how many girls are being taken abroad for FGM because it is normally arranged by their families, and like other forms of child abuse, is relatively easy to hide.

But Equality Now, a charity that campaigns to eradicate FGM, says there is anecdotal evidence holiday cutting is taking place.

It says girls are more at risk during the summer holidays because it allows them more time to ‘heal’ before returning to school

Woman facing deportation wins reprieve after Theresa May told child faces female genital mutilation on return

‘FGM is a crime it is child abuse and will not be accepted in this country,’ the Prime Minister says.

A woman facing deportation to Nigeria has won a reprieve after Theresa May was told her three-year-old daughter faced female genital mutilation if they were returned.

A decision to refuse Lola Ilesanmi’s application to remain in the UK has been withdrawn and Ms May has ordered immigration minister Brandon Lewis to personally oversee a review of her case.

Ms Ilesanmi’s MP Hannah Bardell, of the Scottish National Party, appealed for Ms May to intervene at Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons earlier this month, telling her that the former RBS employee had been beaten, forced to have an abortion and had her face “smashed with an iPad” by her estranged husband because of her refusal to subject their daughter to FGM.

Parents in court accused of breaching ‘forced marriage’ order by trying to take children to Pakistan

The man and woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared at Teesside Magistrates’ Court

Parents accused of breaching a forced marriage protection order by trying to take their children out of the country have appeared in court.

The Teesside family, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were stopped at the departure gate at Newcastle Airport on August 5 last year.

The man and woman are accused of trying to board a flight to Dubai with their three daughters and son aged four to 15.

Teesside Magistrates’ Court heard that prosecutors say the family also had a connection flight booked from Dubai to Islamabad, in Pakistan.

This allegedly put the pair in breach of a forced marriage protection order imposed at Middlesbrough County Court in January 2016.

National Day of Remembrance for Honour Killing – 14th July 2017

The Halo Project Charity remembers all those who lost their lives in the nam of honour. Working in partnership with the PCC Cleveland, survivors, staff and volunteers help release balloons in memory of those who were brutally murdered.

Quote from Yasmin Khan – Director Halo Project

“A day to remember those murdered in the name of honour is bestowed upon us this Friday 14th July 2017 . Shafilea Ahmed’s birthdate is now a reminder for us all to raise the awareness of honour based abuse and recognise women whose lives are tragically ended at the hands of those who they called their family. We must work together and encourage victims to come forward and take necessary action against perpetrators.  Let us remember today,  those who lost their lives in the name of honour, let us not forget our duty to protect”.

#breakthesilence @halo_project #WeRemember

Government funding to expand work of FGM centre

A £30m Government grant will allow the National FGM Centre to continue its work to stop female genital mutilation (FGM).

Newly appointed children and families minister Robert Goodwill has announced funding for 24 projects as part of the Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme.

In his first address to the children’s social care sector since becoming minister, to the Association of Directors of Children’s Services annual conference in Manchester, Mr Goodwill confirmed that a portion of the grant would go to Barnardo’s, which runs the National FGM Centre alongside the Local Government Association, to maintain and expand the role of the centre.

The National FGM Centre was established in 2015 with the aim of ending FGM in England within 15 years. It works with girls and their families to raise awareness in schools and communities, and trains professionals including social workers and teachers in identifying girls at risk of FGM and reporting it to the police.

News of the grant comes as figures published by NHS Digital have recorded more than 5,000 previously unreported cases of FGM from April 2016 to March 2017 – with 39 per cent of cases where the age of the child was known in children under five.