Honour Based Violence (HBV) Remembrance Day is being supported by Ron Hogg, Durham's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) today, to raise awareness of the help that is available for those at risk.
The memorial day, campaigned for by Cosmopolitan magazine and charity Karma Nirvana, was introduced to remember the victims of honour killings, including 17-year-old Shafilea Ahmed, who was murdered by her parents in Cheshire in 2003.
HBV describes acts committed to control behaviour within families or the community to protect perceived cultural and religious beliefs or honour (‘Izzat’). It is often linked to family members who believe someone has brought shame to their family or community by doing something that is not in keeping with their beliefs.
Victims can be subjected to threats of violence, psychological abuse, forced marriage and assault in the name of honour.
Women and girls are the most common victims but men and boys can also be affected.
Ron is working with his PCC counterparts, Cleveland's Barry Coppinger and Northumbria's Vera Baird, to deliver the North East's first ever Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Strategy. HBV is one of the 20 priorities being delivered in the strategy.
Ron said: "Today we are recognising a day to remember the victims of honour based violence. This is a time for us all to reflect on where we've come from, and where we're going to, to tackle these crimes.
"A tremendous amount of hard work has gone on, but we need to continue to keep a focus on this type of despicable crime and make sure that we protect those who are potential victims in our society."
Honour based violence is a crime. It is also an abuse of human rights. Anyone found guilty can face up to seven years in prison.
Helen Murphy, from Durham Constabulary's Safeguarding Unit said: "We have specially trained officers who investigate all reports of so called honour based violence. Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of any person reporting is at the heart of what we do. We work closely with agencies like Halo who provide on-going support.
"I would encourage anyone who is concerned for themselves or others to get in touch. The fault is not victims', but entirely at the door of those committing honour based violence."
For more information about HBV and the support services available please visit the HBV, Forced Marriage and FGM page on the Durham Constabulary website: https://www.durham.police.uk/Information-and-advice/safeguarding/Pages/Honour-Based-Violence.aspx.
If you or anyone is at risk of HBV please contact the police on 101 (in an emergency dial 999).
Follow PCC Ron Hogg on Twitter: @RonaldHogg1, or for organisation updates: @DurhamPCC. You can follow Durham Constabulary on @DurhamPolice.
Posted on Tuesday 14th July 2015