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'Honour' crimes against women in UK rising rapidly, figures show

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Banaz Mahmod, an 'honour killing' victim strangled in 2006. Photograph: Metropolitan police/PA

The number of women and girls in the UK suffering violence and intimidation at the hands of their families or communities is increasing rapidly, according to figures revealing the nationwide scale of "honour" abuse for the first time.

Statistics obtained under the Freedom of Information Act about such violence – which can include threats, abduction, acid attacks, beatings, forced marriage, mutilation and murder – show that in the 12 police force areas for which comparable data was available, reports went up by 47% in just a year.

The figures, shared with the Guardian by the Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation (Ikwro), also reveal that a small number of forces – including four in Scotland – are still not collecting data on how often such violence occurs.

The 39 police forces that gave Ikwro figures recorded 2,823 incidents in 2010. Ikwro estimates that another 500 crimes in which police were involved were committed in the 13 force areas that did not provide data.

But this is likely to be only the tip of the iceberg, campaigners say, as so many incidents go unreported because of victims' fears of recriminations.

Jasvinder Sanghera of victim support group Karma Nirvana said the real figure could be four times as high.

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TAGGED: HARM, SOCIETY


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