Earlier this week (11 July) a husband and four of his family members were sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court to a period of imprisonment after subjecting his wife to forced servitude, ‘honour’-based violence and coercive behaviour between October 2017 and April 2019 at their shared family home.

The wife of Mohammed-Shuaib Arshid was regularly subject to controlling and coercive behaviour, including not being allowed to use her mobile phone without permission, being denied the opportunity to attend college, not being allowed leave the house on her own or have access to her personal identity documents. She was also denied access to any monies, and she was reduced to begging her husband for money for basic toiletries.

The woman was also regularly mentally and physically abused by all five members of the family, including threats to kill and being forced to drink engine oil, causing long-term physical and psychological harm.

Speaking about the case, Afrah Qassim, Savera UK CEO & Founder, said: “This is another shocking case of ‘honour’-based abuse and makes what we do at Savera UK even more vital. We are continuing to work relentlessly to end HBA and harmful practices. The woman in this case believed she was entering a loving marriage and becoming part of a family that would encourage and empower her. Sadly this was not the case and instead her experience was a vile abuse of her human rights, at the hands of those who should have loved and protected her.

“We commend the work of the CPS, securing a successful prosecution of five members of the woman’s family. She has the right to be free and make own choices to access education, to be able to contact her loved ones without requiring permission, and live without physical or emotional harm. We hope that she is receiving the support she needs to manage and recover from the trauma of her experience, and that she is able to live freely and in safety – a basic human right.

“Today is the national Day of Memory for those lost to and harmed by ‘honour’ killings, ‘honour’-based abuse and other harmful practices. Reflecting on this horrific case today is vital. ‘Honour’-based abuse and ‘honour’ killings, still happen today, in towns in the UK and across the world. It is a problem for all of us and one that we must work together collectively to end. There is no ‘honour’ in abuse, it is simply abuse.”