Vera Baird

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PCC Vera Baird and Northumbria Police support Day of Remembrance 2017

13th July 2017

This Friday, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird QC and Northumbria Police will be supporting the annual day of remembrance, which celebrates lives lost to so-called honour killings

Karma Nivarna, a UK charity that supports victims and survivors of forced marriage and honour based abuse established the day three years ago. The date, 14th July,  was chosen because it’s the birthday of Shafilea Ahmed, the 17-year-old British girl who was suffocated by her parents with a plastic bag in an honour-based killing.

There’s an estimated 5000 honour killings a year across the world, and of these, around 12 a year are known to happen in the UK. However, experts agree that this number is likely to be the tip of the iceberg, as so many victims simply go missing.

Northumbria Police is proud to be supporting this day, raising awareness of this type of abuse and highlighting the support that’s available to victims.

Dame Vera, said: “Forced marriage and so-called honour based violence are an abuse of human rights and will not be tolerated. These are crimes that form no part of any religion, culture or tradition.  Everyone is entitled to make their own choices and nobody should be subjected to unbearable pressure, intimidation, abuse or violence.

“It’s so important that we raise awareness that this abuse is happening – in 2017 and here in Northumbria. It’s also important to highlight that summer holidays are a time when some British teenagers are taken overseas to be forced into marriage –  we need these victims to know help is on hand – noone should suffer in silence.”

DCI Helen Anderson, from Northumbria Police’s Safeguarding Department, said: “Northumbria Police recognises the danger, risks and personal conflict associated with forced marriage and honour-based violence and we are committed to dealing effectively with any reports we receive, whether from the victim directly or a third party who has concerns.

“It’s so important that victims understand they will be listened to and taken seriously and their views on what they want to happen will be followed. We want those suffering to seek the help and support that’s available.”

Advice for victims is available on the Northumbria Police website: http://www.northumbria.police.uk/advice_and_information/advice_for_victims_of_crime/forced_marriage/

Further information on Karma Nivarna is here: http://www.karmanirvana.org.uk/ #WeRemember

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