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Last Updated: Friday, 16 November 2007, 13:18 GMT
Lifeline tackles honour violence
A helpline for victims of forced marriages and domestic violence has been set up on Teesside.

It is part of a campaign launched by Cleveland Police to help the victims of so-called honour-based violence.

The Choice confidential helpline, which begins on Friday, is the first of its kind in the country, according to the Cleveland force.

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

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

Victims are often ostracised by their family and friends
Det Supt Tony Hutchinson

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 women who entered into forced marriages who now run a help group in the Midlands.



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