News

Day of Remembrance

13 Jul 2018 10:00 AM

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This Saturday, July 14, 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 and forced marriage.

The Day of Remembrance was set up by Karma Nivarna, who mark their 25th anniversary this year, are a UK charity that supports victims and survivors of forced marriage and honour based abuse. The date, July 14, is significant as it is the birthday of Shafilea Ahmed, a 17-year-old British girl who was suffocated by her parents in an honour-based killing.

This will be the fourth Day of Remembrance that the charity has held, with their second being hosted in Newcastle upon Tyne city centre in 2016.

There’s an estimated 5000 honour killings a year across the world, and of these, around 12 a year happen in the UK, with the figure estimated to be a fraction of the actual amount due to the complexity of the killings.

Dame Vera Baird QC discusses how Northumbria Police are 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. No one should suffer, especially in silence, and we need to ensure we are doing all we can to protect and safeguard victims so they can live their lives without fear and intimidation.

“We have a responsibility to raise awareness of this type of abuse, remember those who we have lost to honour based violence and highlight support for victims.”

Northumbria Police Chief Constable, Winton Keenen, said: “No one should be subjected to fear of violence or abuse.

“We understand the pressure and personal conflict that victims feel in these situations and we want them to know we are here to help.   We will listen to them and we will hear what they have to tell us.

“We will be as discreet as necessary and I would actively encourage anyone suffering this sort of abuse to seek the help and support they so justly deserve.”

Rosie Lewis, Deputy Director and VAWG Services Co-ordinator, said: "Survivors of so called honour based violence and forced marriage continue to be silenced in many of our communities and there remains a the lack of recognition by services of the seriousness and long term impact of such crimes on black and minority women and children, whose lives remain at risk on a daily basis.

 “We stand in solidarity with Karma Nirvana and Northumbria PCC on this issue and welcome this day of remembrance for all the women and children who have been lost to violence and abuse."

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/

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