CPS Yorkshire and Humberside hosts honour-based violence event in Leeds

21/11/2013

In order to build an accurate picture of the prevalence of honour-based violence in our region, and to ensure that the Crown Prosecution Service is able to respond appropriately, CPS Yorkshire and Humberside hosted a wide-ranging discussion about honour-based violence, including forced marriage and female genital mutilation, in Leeds today.

Honour-based violence is often defined as an offence committed to defend the so-called 'honour' of a family or community.  Victims of honour-based violence are often particularly vulnerable. So we need to ensure that victims feel able and willing to report these crimes and to get the support they need.

Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor Gerry Wareham, regional lead on issues surrounding violence against women, will be chairing the discussion.  Representatives from the police, criminal justice agencies, safeguarding and health and education, as well as victims' charities and other interested parties will be attending. Delegates will help to build an accurate local picture of honour-based violence, by sharing the issues they have encountered, identifying challenges, and reporting on how their organisation is responding. 

Gerry Wareham said:

"So-called honour-based violence is a fundamental abuse of human rights. It cuts across many communities.  It is about power and it is about control.   It has no place in civilised society.   There is no honour in the commission of murder, rape, kidnap, and the many other oppressive acts which make up this criminal behaviour.

"The aim of this event is for delegates to share their challenges and experiences and to identify ways in which we can work together to bring more perpetrators of these crimes to justice and give greater support and assurance to victims.  The clear message is that such acts are crimes and are completely unacceptable.

"We at the Crown Prosecution Service remain committed to prosecuting with the full force of the law those that are found to have harmed others in the name of so-called honour."

Jasvinder Sanghera, founder of Karma Nirvana, a charity which offers services and support to young women and men who are victims of so-called honour-based abuse in the UK.said:

"We welcome working with the Crown Prosecution Service on this crucially important area of work.  Our helpline is presently receiving in the region of 600 calls per month from victims more than ever before.

"Our collaboration with CPS Yorkshire and Humberside sends out a strong message that honour-based violence will not be tolerated in our communities and that there is help and support available for victims."