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Police Plea to Victims of 'Honour' Crimes

Honor killings/attacks on the rise in Great Britain."Extreme violence can be used, up to and including rape and potentially murder - we know that from what we have seen in England, in particular."

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The Scotsman
September 27, 2010
Edinburgh, Scotland

Police are launching a campaign to tackle honour-based violence in Muslim communities by encouraging more victims to come forward. The number of cases in Scotland is growing, and although there have been only 31 reported in Lothian and Borders since the start of 2009, this is believed to be the tip of the iceberg as few victims are willing or able to come forward.

When they do contact either the police or support agencies, the extent of the violence has often become so severe that it is unbearable.

Assistant Chief Constable Iain Livingstone, the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland's lead for public protection, said: "The intention is to encourage people to come forward and have confidence that they will be properly dealt with.

"Extreme violence can be used, up to and including rape and potentially murder - we know that from what we have seen in England, in particular."

However, agencies working with ethnic minorities in Scotland have seen the problem a lot closer to home.

All 31 recorded incidents in Lothian and Borders have been against women, the majority aged 21 to 30. Most of the perpetrators were aged 31 to 50 and male, and motivated by a feeling of loss of honour or disrespect.

Mr Livingstone will chair a conference on honour-based violence today, at which Muslim scholar Shaykh Amer Jamil has been invited to speak.

Mr Jamil said: "I've travelled around Scotland getting imams to address it in sermons. They will inevitably implore people to come forward and seek more help. So I would expect figures (of honour-based violence] to go up, not because of an increase in incidents but because of an increase in reporting.

"When people do eventually seek help, they usually do so when they are completely desperate and have no other options."


 

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