On 27th August 2018, Raneem Oudeh and her mother, Khaola Saleem, were both stabbed to death outside Khaola’s home by Raneem’s second husband, Janbaz Tarin.
Raneem had tried to leave Tarin on more than one occasion, with police and social services being called to their house due to reports of violence. On the day of the murders, Raneem had called police four times. An inquest into the deaths of Raneem and Khaola found failings by West Midlands Police ‘materially contributed’ to the murders of the mother and daughter.
Speaking to Sky News following the inquest, Nour Norris, sister of Khaola and aunt of Raneem, said: “We do blame the police because the proof of the inquest has shown very clear that the system is failing miserably. The death of my sister and my niece could have been prevented.”
Tarin was jailed for life with a minimum of 32 years in 2018 for the murders.
Savera UK CEO and Founder, Afrah Qassim said: “Today, we stand with the family of Raneem Oudeh and Khaola Saleem and call for accountability for systemic failings in dealing with the abuse Raneem was subjected to by Tarin, which ultimately led to the death of her and her mother, who died trying to protect her daughter.
“We believe that a key factor in this horrific and heartbreaking case is a failure to recognise and respond appropriately to what we identify as a case of ‘honour’-based abuse (HBA).
“On their wedding day, Tarin told Raneem ‘We don’t have divorce in our culture. The day that you will be free from me is the day I will kill you’ – in HBA culture and religion is weaponised in this way to control an individual. It is used as an excuse for abuse, violence and – in this instance – murder.
“HBA cannot be addressed in the same way as domestic abuse. When a disclosure is made there might only be one chance to save that life, which is why we advocate for the One Chance Rule.
“As with cases like that of Banaz Mahmod, Raneem sought help, but was led down by failings in the system, including a lack of ability to identify HBA and understand the urgency required to respond to it. How many more times will these mistakes be made and how many more lives need to be lost?
“We call for urgent action to address the issue of HBA and harmful practices in the UK, with mandatory training and education for all voluntary and statutory services working with people who may be at risk and greater funding and support for specialist services can help create preventative strategies, deliver training and education for professionals and support survivors and those at risk.
“Raneem was a loved and ambitious young woman who was simply exercising her right to live her life freely and in safety. Khaola was a beloved family member, friend and protective mother. Both should still be with us today. We will remember them as we continue to fight to end HBA and harmful practices and make it clear that culture is no excuse for abuse, violence or murder.”
Following the inquest West Midlands Police apologised to the family and said more should have been done by the force to join-up the incidents of abuse that were being reported. They say a number of key changes have already been made following the murders in 2018, including “increasing the number of staff specifically investigating domestic abuse offences”. You can read the statement in full here.