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“HONOUR” BASED VIOLENCE AND FORCED MARRIAGE Zahra Rasouli– IKWRO 24 September 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "“HONOUR” BASED VIOLENCE AND FORCED MARRIAGE Zahra Rasouli– IKWRO 24 September 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 “HONOUR” BASED VIOLENCE AND FORCED MARRIAGE Zahra Rasouli– IKWRO 24 September 2014

2 Iranian & Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO)  Is a registered charity set up in 2002  Provides holistic advice, advocacy and intensive case work for Middle Eastern (Iranian, Kurdish, Turkish, Arab and Afghan) women and girls at risk of Domestic Violence, Forced & Child Marriage, Female Genital Mutilation and “Honour”- based Violence  Provides counselling in Farsi/Dari, Kurdish, Arabic and English  Provides training for professionals, women-only groups and Middle Eastern communities  IKWRO campaigns to change laws and policies and for women’s rights & equality

3 What is the definition of ‘Honour’? According to the Oxford dictionary, “honour” is:  “High respect; great esteem”  “The quality of knowing and doing what is morally right”  “Something regarded as a rare opportunity and bringing pride and pleasure; a privilege.” “ Izzat”, “Namous”, “Sharaff” – why is the word ‘honour’ used in describing killing? whose honor? What is honorable about murder?

4 What is “Honour” Based Violence? (Contd) There is no honour, only dishonour in ‘honour’ killing IKWRO Why do we call it ‘honour’ based violence? (and not ‘domestic’ violence or forced marriage)?  To confront and clarify HBV without any misperceptions within practicing communities  To raise awareness with those who are at risk  To educate the wider society

5 What is ‘Honour’ Based Violence? Defined by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) : “An incident or crime which has or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or community.”

6 What is ‘Honour’-Based Violence? Definition by IKWRO: ‘Honour’-Based Violence is any act of incidents and crimes committed predominantly against women and girls by their family or their community, often collectively, to defend their perceived honour because it is believed the person has done something to bring shame on the family or the community. It can take many forms including: ‘honour’ killing, forced marriage, rape (group), forced suicide, acid attacks, mutilation, imprisonment, abduction, beatings, death threats, blackmail, emotional abuse, surveillance, harassment, disownment and forced abortion.

7 ‘Cultural’ and political justifications:  Patriarchal power, control over women and girls  Culture-dogma-no remorse  Fear:Political Correctness  Fear:Professionals' fear of being accused of being Racists  ‘HBV cases are too complex for us to intervene’!!!  It does not happen  Ex: attention seeking adult (police, safeguarding nurse  Unstable; drunk; why noone speaks about it-it is not true Universal Women’s Rights, Human Rights.

8 Forced Marriage not accepting it may lead to HBV people forced into marriage are the potential victims of HBV A marriage in which families take a leading role, but the parties have the free will and choice to accept or decline the arrangement. A marriage in which one or both spouses do not (or, in the case of some adults with learning or physical disabilities, cannot) consent to the marriage and duress is involved. Duress can include physical, psychological, financial, sexual and emotional pressure. Multi-Agency Practice Guidelines: Handling Cases of Forced Marriage (June 2009) A Forced Marriage is an Arranged marriage, but an Arranged Marriage is not a Forced Marriage. Arranged Marriage

9 Why do forced marriages happen?  To control unwanted behaviour and sexuality particularly that of women, and to prevent ‘unsuitable’ relationships  To uphold family honour or long-standing family commitments  Because of peer group or family pressure  To protect perceived cultural or religious ideals  To attempt to strengthen family links  To ensure wealth & land remain within the family  To assist claims for residence and citizenship  To provide a carer for a disabled family member and to reduce the ‘stigma’ of disability

10 Honour Based Violence Statistics in the UK  5000 honour killings recorded per year worldwide (UN 2003)  At least 12 honour killings per year in the UK (HO 2004)  IKWRO has dealt with 2,200 cases via its telephone advice line. We have provided face-to-face intensive casework to over 653 women of whom 145 were at a high risk of HBV. The majority of these women were years of age (2012)  The Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) dealt with over 1,485 cases in 2012  Honour Network helpline dealt with 5600 calls in 2012

11 Honour Based Violence Statistics in the UK  A survey of police forces by IKWRO found that at least 2,823 incidents of HBV were recorded by police (2011)  Only 4.85% of those recorded cases led to conviction.  It is said that Asian women are 2-3 times more likely to commit suicide or to self-harm than other women  Statistics suggest that Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) victims of domestic violence have 17 points of contact with services before they are helped; the figure stands at 11 contacts for white women (Brittain, 2005)

12 Who are the victims of HBV & FM? Within Middle Eastern, South Asian, Eastern European and Traveller communities in the UK:  Women  Young women  Children  Men  People with disabilities  Gay, lesbian and trans-gender people  Anyone who attempts to help them-within the family  Any more?

13 Perpetrator/s are usually:  Male family members (father, brother, husband, uncles, cousins)  Women family members (mother, sister, in laws, etc.)  Bounty hunters  Contract killers  Members of victims’ communities  People under the order of community leaders  Any more?

14 Triggers - What is seen as ‘dishonour’:  “Inappropriate” make-up or dress, going out  Talking to a boy (or a girl), or to a stranger  Expressions of sexual autonomy, public displays of affection  Having a boyfriend  Resisting a forced marriage  Sex outside marriage, i.e. losing virginity, adultery, pregnancy  Being a victim of rape

15 Triggers - What is seen as ‘dishonour’, contd:  Homosexuality  Seeking divorce(even in the event of domestic abuse)  Reporting/fleeing domestic violence or forced marriage  Autonomy with respect to education/employment  Rumours or even suspicions of any of the above

16 Triggers – Forced Marriage, cont’d :  Child/ girl missing school regularly  Child/ girl does not return from holiday  Employer receiving unexpected leave request and noting employee anxiety  Doctor or nurse noting patient is always accompanied by guardian.  Evidence of self-harm  Social Services seeing runaway  Older siblings all married early

17 Barriers to victims seeking protection:  Underestimating the threat  Fear of dishonouring family, ostracised by friends and the community  Fear of losing children, family and friends  Feelings of guilt and shame  Constant control by the family  Fear of lack of confidentiality /sharing information with family

18 Barriers to victims seeking protection, contd:  Poor perception/lack of trust of police and other agencies able to help  Lack of resources including safe accommodation  Language barriers  Lack of recourse to public funds  Immigration status (mis-spelling in the handout-sorry about it)  Fear of being found after leaving

19 Psychological impact  Living in fear  Mistrusting everyone (feeling of being controlled, watched, followed…)  Depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, flashbacks, nightmares, hyper-vigilance  Isolation, loneliness, shame and silence  Losing self-esteem  Self-blame, feelings of guilt  Self harm, suicidal feelings

20 Responding to HBV Cases, who can help? frontline  Police  Social Services  Children’s services  Education professionals e.g. teachers, school counsellors, education advisors, etc.  Health professionals, e.g. doctors, counsellors, midwives, nurses, health visitors, etc.  Local Authorities, e.g. welfare and housing agencies  UK Border Agencies (the Home Office)  Voluntary organisations, and many more You can help!

21 How to stop HBV: 3P’s   Prevention: Preventing crime and saving victims, changing the mindset of communities-educating girls and boys- IKWRO’s campaign focus for this year – national cirruculum  Protection: Full protection and support for victims –well trained, sensitive workers with a victim centred approach- without judging them-people who has the ability to consider situations from a wider perspective  Prosecution: Implementing law and policies, investigating and prosecuting crimes, holding perpetrators accountable (Law Enforcement) and adequate protection for witnesses Victim-Centred Approach

22 Prevention: Preventing crime and saving victims  Believe them  Treat potential victims with sensitivity and seriousness  Be culturally sensitive  Reassure them about confidentiality. Speak to individuals alone and not in the presence of family and friends  Do not disclose any information to family and friends  Listen carefully and pick up key words e.g.: rape, forced marriage, throwing acid, imprisonment, abduction, beatings, death threats, blackmailing, surveillance, harassment, controlling behaviours, and “honour” killings, etc.  Arrange for an interpreter carefully and check them with the victim. Remind them about confidentiality, neutrality, word-for-word accuracy, non-advocacy- an interpreter not from the community-they fail to translate-gender of the interpreter-that’s it you have one choice-  Clients may be quite, afraid to talk-be patient, do not get angry with them-it is not because they are not cooperative it is because they are suppressed- years and years of abuse

23 Protection: Full protection and support for victims  Never use family members as translators  Take action immediately  Inform the victim of your action  Involve police and social services if appropriate (recording and flagging)  Do a risk assessment, Safety Plan & Risk management  HBV is also a child protection issue. Refer to Child Protection Procedures if appropriate  Arrange for safe accommodation  Consult with or refer to expert organisations such as IKWRO and the Forced Marriage Unit

24 Making Effective Referrals  Consider the needs of the client/s  To avoid duplication record carefully all the information you have gathered from the clients  Inform the clients of the referral and listen to any concerns  When using interpreters, use a trusted source and check with your client  Always check an organisations’ expertise and understanding of HBV and FM before making any referrals  Give preference to gender specialist organisations  Do not refer clients at risk of HBV, FM and FGM to community centers and religious establishments  Always follow up  Pay attention

25  Children Act  Abduction, Kidnapping, Assault, Harassment, Stalking, Threat to Kill, Sexual Offences, Rape Acts  Forced Marriage Civil Act/ Forced Marriage Criminal Act  Ward of Court  Holding Passports  Prosecution  Witness Protection  Restricted Freedom/House Arrest Lets have a look at the Useful law enforcement in ‘honour’ based violence and forced marriage:

26 Conclusion:  Attempt to mediate or to collude  Share information without the consent of the victim  Before sending letters, s, texts or leaving messages make sure it is safe (perpetrators are controlling)-perps call us –”this is the last number my wife called  Allow yourself to be affected by your perceptions of cultural difference – remain professional  Be judgmental  Dismiss their fears, and NEVER send them back into harmful environments  EVER use family members as translators  EVER approach family or community leaders  EVER underestimate the perpetrator/s of HBV  Pay attention-Listen THERE MAY ONLY BE ONE CHANCE TO HELP Do Not:

27 Conclusion Checklist:  Staff Training & Awareness Raising  Signposting Practice Guidelines  Monitoring and Evaluation  Record Keeping  Risk Assessment – on-going/links  Confidentiality  Victim-centred Approach  Danger of Family Mediation  Agency-specific requirements  Consult with expert organisations: IKWRO, Forced Marriage Unit Statutory Guidance SAVE LIVES!

28 Iranian &Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO) Tel:


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