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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 November 2007, 16:19 GMT
Honour violence helpline set up
An Asian victim of domestic violence
Suicides in the Asian community could be honour-related, say police
A helpline for victims of forced marriages and domestic violence is to be set up on Teesside.

The Choice service is part of a Cleveland Police campaign to tackle the issues in ethnic minority communities.

The confidential helpline will become the first of its kind in the country when it is begins on Friday, according to the force.

It will be manned around the clock by police volunteers, who will answer calls from across the North East.

Choice will be unveiled at a conference organised by Det Supt Tony Hutchinson, which will take place at the Middlesbrough Teaching and Learning Centre.

Mr Hutchinson said: "We have not had a so-called honour-based killing in this area but there have been incidents of female suicide in the Asian community and of course, as is so often in cases like this, the unanswered question is what drove them to the suicide.

"Victims are often ostracised by their family and friends so the helpline offers them somewhere to turn.

"This is not about arranged marriages but forced marriages and associated practices where the young people concerned have no say and are forced through intimidation or violence into co-operating."

Also speaking at the conference will be Jasvinder Sanghera and Shazia Quyam, two forced marriage survivors who run a help group in the Midlands.



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