More than 300 people gathered at a community centre in Wood Green this week to take a part in a conference to tackle ‘Honour’ Based Violence (HBV). The audience comprised of officers from across the Metropolitan Police Service, Probation, Crown Prosecution Service, social care and health professionals from across London.
The event, organised by the Metropolitan Police Service's Child Abuse Investigation Command, SCD5, brought together a wide range of internationally recognized experts in the field of HBV and forced marriage. During two days of training seminars, the speakers shared their experiences and learning.
Speakers included: Nazir Afzal, OBE and director of Crown Prosecution Service West London and Lynne Townley, CPS barrister and lead on Honour Based Violence, Shahien Taj, MBE, director of the Muslim women’s charity, the Henna Foundation, Anne-Marie Hutchinson, OBE, and DCI Caroline Goode from the MPS’s Homicide and Serious Crime Command.
Event organiser, DI Noel McHugh said: "We are so grateful to our amazing speakers for their time and engaging and informative presentations. They explained how in the name of honour women can be punished for inappropriate dress or make up, having a boyfriend or rejecting a forced marriage. The consequences can range from mental abuse, sexual assault to murder in the extreme.
“So-called ‘Honour Based Violence’ is a horrendous crime and a fundamental abuse of Human Rights.
“There is no honour in the commission of murder, rape, kidnap and the many other acts, behaviour and conduct which make up ‘violence in the name of so-called honour’.
“Sadly, HBV is a crime that our officers and partners have to deal with. This conference is about bringing experts from a wide range of agencies together to share their vast array of knowledge and pass on their best practice to others. We have filmed the conference to share the learning across all agencies.
“The aim is to ensure high quality policing services to victims of this crime.”
The MPS has seen a rise in the number of HBV offences in the last three financial years.
In the financial year 2007/8 there were 93 recorded offences. In 2009/10 there were more than 130.
HBV is a collection of practices, which are used to control behaviour within families to protect perceived cultural & religious beliefs and/or honour. Such violence can occur when perpetrators perceive that a relative has shamed the family and/or community by breaking their honour code.
Women are predominantly, but not exclusively, the victims of HBV which is used to assert male power in order to control female autonomy and sexuality.
HBV can be distinguished from other forms of violence, as it is often committed with some degree of approval and/or collusion from family and/or community members. Examples may include murder, un-explained death (suicide), fear of or actual forced marriage, controlling sexual activity, domestic violence (including psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional abuse), child abuse, rape, kidnapping, false imprisonment, threats to kill, assault, harassment, forced abortion. This list is not exhaustive.
The conference took place on Tuesday 4 and Wednesday 5 May at the Cypriot Community Centre in Earlham Grove, Wood Green, West London.
Det Supt Sue Knight of SCD5 said: “The conferences have been excellent in raising awareness on an awful crime. Today I saw interagency working at its best which will go forward to protect future victims.”
Bulletin 0000001780 07 May 2010
Fonte: Site da Metropolitan Police