What do you know about ‘honour’-based abuse?

Cheshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner John Dwyer and charity Savera UK want to understand the level of knowledge across the county when it comes to ‘honour’-based abuse (HBA) and harmful practices.

Today, 5 July 2023, a survey has been launched to enable the communities of Cheshire, including frontline professionals, to share their views. The survey can be accessed here (www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/SAVHBA1/).

The Commissioner recently secured over £321,000 from the Government’s Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Fund to enhance his partnership with Savera UK in working to raise awareness of HBA and harmful practices, alongside training packages for professionals.

HBA is a crime or incident committed to protect or defend the ‘honour’ of a family or community. HBA and harmful practices can include child or forced marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM) and virginity testing as well as other culturally specific abuse.

Police and Crime Commissioner, John Dwyer said: “Raising awareness of ‘honour’-based abuse and harmful practices is key to helping break the taboo surrounding the subject. However, it’s important to find out what the level of understanding is at the moment, and how we can further educate people to ensure we help those who are at risk.

“These types of crimes are often under-reported due to fear of reprisals, with those experiencing the abuse not getting the support and help they need as a result. I want to do all I can in Cheshire to help identify those at risk and provide them with the help and support they need.

“I’d encourage anyone in Cheshire to take a few minutes to complete the survey and help to shape the awareness campaign.”

Afrah Qassim, Savera UK CEO and Founder, said: “‘Honour’-based abuse and harmful practices are often hidden crimes and for this reason the recorded figures often appear to be low. We know that these figures are only the tip of the iceberg. Increased professional understanding of the issues will empower those working on the frontline to better identify cases of HBA and harmful practices, and ensure appropriate intervention is provided.

“Understanding the current base of knowledge in the region is vital, as it will allow us to work with the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire to inform our partnership working and our education and awareness campaigns. Contributing to this survey will help us to change and even save lives of survivors and those at risk of ‘honour’-based abuse and harmful practices, as awareness of these issues grow.”

The survey on HBA and harmful practices is available for you to take here (www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/SAVHBA1/). It should only take a few minutes to complete.