Poole raises awareness of ‘honour’ violence

Poole is hosting a conference to help raise awareness for honour-based violence and forced marriage on 6 March.

Poole is hosting a conference to discuss honour-based violence and forced marriage on a national level.

There were 22 reports of honour-based violence and forced marriage in Bournemouth and Poole between April 2013 and January 2014, according to the Safer Poole Partnership.

The campaign group defines honour-based violence as any violence or abuse committed to protect the honour of the family or community. Forced marriage is where one or both partners are pressured into a marriage that they do not consent to.

Jasvinder Sanghera CBE, a survivor of  honour-based violence and forced marriage, is speaking at the conference on Friday.

She founded the charity Karma Nirvana which helps support victims.

“Karma Nirvana operate the National Honour Network Helpline that received 6,519 calls in 2013,” said Sanghera. “We received five calls from Dorset which indicates a clear need to increase reporting in this region.”

“We received 5 calls from Dorset which indicates a clear need to increase reporting in this region.” – Jasvinder Sanghera

Poole Council leader Elaine Atkinson said that while Poole is considered a low-crime area, it is not exempt from this kind of crime.

“People often don’t realise that honour-based violence and forced marriage can happen here,” she said.

Close to 3,000 cases of honour-based violence occur in Britain annually, according to research conducted by the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation in 2011, but Karma Nirvana says the issue remains under-reported.

Councillor Atkinson said raising public and police awareness of this issue was imperative, so that the right kind of help can be offered to those who need it.

“The aim of this conference is to raise awareness of these crimes among front-line workers in a variety of roles – including social workers, police, school and college staff, and council workers – as well as community groups. It is essential that the people in these positions are able to identify and support those at greatest risk.”

The conference will be held on 6 March between 9.30am and 12.30pm at the Salterns Hotel as part of the lead-up to International Women’s Day on Sunday.

Speaking at the conference on Friday:

Jasvinder Sanghera CBE: Karma Nirvana

Dorset Police’s Serious Crimes Investigations Manager, Detective Chief Inspector Jez Noyce: speaking on an anonymous local case study and what he has learnt through it.

Detective Superintendent Goode: lead investigator in the honour killing of 19-year-old Banaz Mahmood in 2006. Goode received the Queen’s Policing Medal for Distinguished Service and is now working to better educate British police about such cases.


Lastly, John Montagu: Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for the Wessex region.

You can follow events on Twitter and take part in the live Q&A between 12pm and 1pm on Friday 7 March using the hashtag #HBVPoole.

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