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Survivors of ‘honour’-based abuse and forced marriage have chosen to leave their families behind, often as a means of staying alive. In doing so, they form part of a new scattered community of disowned human beings who are vulnerable and in urgent need of support. Yet, many are still being met with a lack of understanding from local authorities and services.
Using new case studies of survivors of ‘honour’ abuse, new HJS report Britain’s Forgotten Women: Speaking to Survivors of ‘Honour’-Based Abuse identifies a clear gap in support for victims leaving an ‘honour’ system, at a time when many are at their most vulnerable and isolated. It also provides practical recommendations for professionals in statutory agencies, including the police, schools and social services in how to fill this gap.
Key findings and recommendations include:
The report is to be launched on 14th July – the UK’s first ever Day of Memory for victims of ‘honour’ killings – at a Survivor’s Conference hosted by Cosmopolitan magazine and Karma Nirvana. The 14th would have been the birthday of Shafilea Ahmed, a young British woman who was suffocated to death by her parents in 2003 when she was just 17 years old. On the Day of Memory, advertising agency Leo Burnett London are running a social campaign whereby the public are being asked to channel their messages of support – using the Twitter hashtag ‘#RememberShafilea’ to help physically create a permanent memorial to the victims of ‘honour’ killings.