Remembering Victims of ‘Honour’-Based Violence

14 July 2022 marks the Day of Memory for victims of ‘honour’-based abuse. Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, John Dwyer, is joining organisations across the country to remember the lives of victims and the courage of survivors.

United Against Honour Based Abuse by Karma Nirvana

‘Honour’-based abuse is a crime or incident committed to protect or defend the ‘honour’ of a family and community. 14 July also marks the birthday of Shafilea Ahmed, who was murdered in Warrington by her parents in 2003 in an honour-based killing.

With an estimated 12 ‘honour’-based killings each year in the United Kingdom, the charity Karma Nirvana launched the Day of Memory in 2015 to remember the lives lost to this type of abuse.

Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, John Dwyer, said “Today would have been Shafilea Ahmed’s 36th birthday, instead we commemorate her life, along with all other victims and survivors of honour-based violence.

“Nobody should fear living their life how they want to or be denied the freedoms that most us take for granted. Honour-based violence is often under-reported and can be referred to as a ‘hidden crime’ because of this.”

If you believe someone you know is a victim of honour-based abuse, these are some of the warning signs to look out for:

  • Acting withdrawn or upset
  • Bruising or other unexplained physical injury
  • Depression, self-harm or attempted suicide
  • Unexplained absence or poor performance at work or school
  • Their movements at home are strictly controlled
  • Family rows
  • Running away from home
  • A family history of relatives going missing

John Dwyer added “I want to take this opportunity to encourage anyone who is experiencing or witnessing honour-based abuse to speak out. There are a number of charities and support networks available, but I would remind the public that 999 should always be the first contact if there is an immediate risk to life.”

“Protecting vulnerable and at-risk people is a priority of mine and I am committed to working alongside the Constabulary to ensure Cheshire Police continue to protect and serve our communities.”

To find out more about honour-based abuse please visit: https://www.cheshire.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/honour-based-abuse/honour-based-abuse/

For information on the Day of Memory please visit: https://karmanirvana.org.uk/campaigns/day-of-memory