Posts Tagged ‘victims’

Boy aged eight among known potential victims of forced marriage in UK

A boy as young as eight is among scores of children feared by judges to be at risk of forced marriage as official figures reveal police are struggling to bring cases to court.

Met Commander Mak Chishty

Met Commander Mak Chishty is the national police lead for forced marriage and honour-based violence. Photograph: Linda Nylind for the Guardian

The schoolboy – thought to be one of the UK’s youngest known potential victims of forced marriage – is among 71 children, teenagers and women in West Yorkshire guarded by special court orders since 2014.

His case came to light as police figures, obtained by the Guardian, showed that only a fraction of investigations into forced marriage result in a prosecution. Many are dropped because victims are too scared to give evidence against their abuser.

In West Yorkshire, five of the 51 cases investigated since June 2014 resulted in a suspect being charged.Thirty-five of these investigations were dropped due to “evidential difficulties”, of which 16 were “victim-based” problems, the figures show.

There was a similar pattern in the West Midlands, where 19 of its 31 investigations resulted in no charges – eight because the victims did not support further action. There has been one conviction so far under a new forced marriage law introduced in June 2014.

Read More: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/apr/20/boy-eight-among-known-potential-victims-forced-marriage-uk

Forced Marriage Campaign: Seasonal Reminder Ahead of Easter School Holidays

Ahead of the start of the school Easter holiday, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and West Yorkshire Police is reminding people of the signs to look out for of forced marriage and honour-based violence.

Campaign poster

A forced marriage is where one or both people do not (or in cases of people with learning disabilities, cannot) consent to the marriage and pressure or abuse is used.

The pressure put on people to marry against their will can be physical (including threats, actual physical violence and sexual violence) or emotional and psychological (for example, when someone is made to feel like they’re bringing shame on their family). Financial abuse (taking your wages or not giving you any money) can also be a factor.

From June 2014, it became a crime to force someone to marry against their will.

Over the school holidays intelligence suggests that there tends to be an increase in forced marriages. In the run up to, and over the easter holidays, officers are working with schools, airport staff and the wider community in raising awareness of the signs to spot that someone may be being forced to marry against their will or be a victim of honour-based violence.

Read More: http://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/news/forced-marriage-campaign-seasonal-reminder-ahead-easter-school-holidays

Tackling Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in London

I was shocked when I heard that London accounted for over half the number of female genital mutilation (FGM) cases recorded nationwide.

Data released in December showed 758 new incidents were reported in our capital between July and September alone, with 1,385 flagged across the rest of the country.

FGM is a practice that would seem out of place in the dark ages, and yet it is being inflicted on young people living in our city today. Its frequency is a worrying phenomenon that cannot be ignored. Yet despite its apparent prevalence in the UK, not a single conviction for the illegal practice has ever been achieved.

We as politicians need to recognise and act on this disparity between the number of barbaric and life-changing acts being committed and the complete absence of accountability for the perpetrators.

Read More: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/andrew-boff/fgm-london_b_9009384.html

‘Reconsider forced marriage’ say women’s groups

Women’s groups in Scotland have claimed that criminalisation of forced marriage in Scotland hindered rather than helped efforts to help victims.

The practice, associated with certain cultures, was outlawed north of the border in September 2014, three months after similar legislation appeared in England and Wales. Convictions have followed in England but not in Scotland, the Herald newspaper reports, and not a single individual has been charged. In addition, there has been a drop in the number of victims seeking help since the legislation was enacted – in the case of one group, from 24 referrals in a year to just ten. Victims often tell support groups that they do not wish to get their families into trouble with the police.

Scottish Women’s Aid have now called on Holyrood to reconsider its approach to the issue. Chief Executive Dr Marsha Scott said:

Read More: http://www.marilynstowe.co.uk/2016/01/11/reconsider-forced-marriage-say-womens-groups/

CASH-HIT CHARITY WHICH RESCUES WOMEN FROM FORCED MARRIAGE FACES CLOSURE

An award-winning charity, which rescues women from forced marriage and hundreds of young people from radicalisation, faces closure in a matter of months if it does not receive further funding.

Founded in 1989, JAN Trust was originally set up to support marginalised and isolated communities in north London, but has since expanded to reach people across the UK.

Cash-hit charity which rescues women from forced marriage faces closure

However, it only has sufficient funds to keep its services running until March 31 this year.

ajda Mughal, director of the charity, said that their work had “saved lives” and that she would “dread to think” of the consequences if the charity closes down.

“We have worked one-on-one with victims and intervened in cases of honour-based violence within families, FGM (female genital mutilation), forced marriage, and even cases where a woman’s life has been at risk at the hands of her own family.

Read More: http://www.careappointments.co.uk/care-news/england/item/38808-cash-hit-charity-which-rescues-women-from-forced-marriage-faces-closure

FGM: A tale of force, emotional blackmail and evil dreams

She saw the blade, but dared not move. That was the command! If she did, it would haunt her, her children and the generations to come. That was the cultural notion.

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FGM: A tale of force, emotional blackmail and evil dreams

By Caroline Ariba

Added 31st December 2015

The closer the rusty blade got to her, the more frightened she was.

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Syada Chebet (middle) is now an activist against Female Genital Mutilation in her village

She saw the blade, but dared not move. That was the command! If she did, it would haunt her, her children and the generations to come. That was the cultural notion.

_______________________________________

Syada Chebet, only a teenager then, told herself it was indeed for the best. So if she braved the knife, that funny-looking blade, just for a second, it would be just fine.

Her future would be just fine.  It was only part of her genitalia, it should be fine, she thought.

“It will not take long, it cannot take long,” she soothed herself.  She would let the wrinkly and mean-looking old lady sucking on a tobacco pipe, cut her genitalia. After all, they said it should take a second, right? No, it did not!

The closer, the rusty blade got, the more frightened she got. So, she thought to herself: “I can run, I will run!” Sadly, before she could react, two giant men tore her thighs apart, and pressed them on each side.

“Stay down!” they commanded, all the while stepping on her thighs.

The old woman, also the village’s mutilation surgeon, had since abandoned her pipe and had now started speaking like she was possessed. With her rough fingers, the old woman latched onto Chebet’s genitalia, and pulled.

Read More: http://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1413895/fgm-tale-force-emotional-blackmail-evil-dreams

Met police not prepared in dealing with honour crimes, new report finds

The Metropolitan police (MPS) needs to be more prepared for how it would protect victims of honour based violence.

A new report, the first of its kind on honour crimes, found the force is under-prepared in keeping victims of forced marriages and female genital mutilation safe.

The Met Police force has said it is determined to eradicate honour crimes

The report, carried out by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), identified that the MPS struggled with enforcing protection and preventing the crimes from taking place. Honour-based violence is the term used to refer to practices used to control the behaviour of women and girls in order to protect supposed cultural and religious beliefs.

The London Borough of Hounslow was recognised last week for its work to eradicate violence against women, but it appears more work is yet to be done across London. A spokesperson for the Met told Getwestlondon: “The MPS is committed to continuing to work with affected communities, health, education, social care and other partners to tackle and eradicate honour-based abuse and harmful practises in all its forms.

“By working with affected communities, charities and public services, we aim to get a better understanding of the risks faced by victims to prevent such crimes taking place, safeguard victims and where appropriate bring offenders to justice.”

 

Read More: http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/west-london-news/met-police-not-prepared-dealing-10565981http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/west-london-news/met-police-not-prepared-dealing-10565981

Victims of honour crimes being failed by ‘majority of police forces’, says inspectorate

Victims of honour based violence are being failed by the majority of police forces in England and Wales, according to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).

Participants in the Million Women Rise march earlier this year. MWR is a women-only march and rally combatting male violence against women, held annually in London close to International Women’s Day Corbis

In its first ever inspection of the way police deal with honour-based violence, including female genital mutilation and forced marriage, HMIC reveals that just three out of 43 forces are properly prepared to deal with cases. And almost half of forces are not ready when it comes to being able to protect victims.

riting in the foreword, Sir Thomas Winsor, HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary, says: “Our findings show that honour-based violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation are not yet being given the priority by the police service that victims deserve.”

The inspectors warn that existing laws do not fully cover the range of risks faced by victims. Although forced marriage and female genital mutilation are criminal offences in their own right, the report warns that there is “no bespoke provision in law for the protection of victims”in cases of honour-based violence which do not include these crimes.

Responding to the findings, Yasmin Khan, director of Halo Project, a charity which helps people who have suffered honour-based violence, said: “It is absolutely paramount that police and safeguarding agencies act swiftly and deal with risks associated with this abhorrent abuse. Too many victims are suffering unnecessarily due to the lack of training and procedures within many organisations.”

Blake Lively Is Calling Attention to a Terrifying Truth: Female Genital Mutilation Occurs in America, Too

Blake Lively may have shuttered her platform Preserve, but that hasn’t stopped the star from speaking out about things she thinks are important—including protecting and supporting women.

Lively launched an initiative to call attention to #FGM—female genital mutilation

Today on Instagram, Lively launched an initiative to call attention to FGM—female genital mutilation—a procedure that involves removing parts or all of a woman’s genitals for non-medical reasons. It’s long been practiced in parts of Africa and was recently banned in Nigeria, but Lively points out the chilling fact that FGM isn’t just something that happens in other places—it’s right in our own backyard.

Read More: http://www.marieclaire.com/celebrity/news/a16755/blake-lively-fgm-instagram/

Newham has second highest number of reported honour based crime in London

Statistics from a Freedom of Information request to the Met revealed that Newham had 59 reports of honour related crime since 2010.

According to the figures, the borough came joint second with neighbouring Redbridge for the number of reported honour crimes in London, while Brent topped the list with 82 incidents.

Newham has the second highest number of reports of honour-based crime in London. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Archive/PA Images

Sudarshan Bhuhi, chief executive officer of Stratford charity Aanchal Women’s Aid, said she was not surprised by the figures and that she believes more incidents may be going unreported.

She added: “The issue is quite close to my heart.

“I have been working in here and the economic divide is so diverse – there’s not enough funds for specialised support.” Balvinder Saund, of the Sikh Women’s Alliance (SWA) in Ilford, explained that the “idea of honour” was still present.

“It’s about control and subservience. These old ways of thinking should be left behind – there’s no place for it,” she said. A Newham Council spokesman explained confidential support is available to all victims of domestic and sexual abuse.

Read More: http://www.newhamrecorder.co.uk/news/newham_has_second_highest_number_of_reported_honour_based_crime_in_london_1_4295030

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