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Last Updated: Monday, 14 January 2008, 03:02 GMT
Abuse and 'honour crime' probed
Victim of abuse (generic)
The consultation wants to hear from female and male abuse victims
A public consultation into domestic abuse, forced marriage and "honour crimes" is to be launched by MPs.

The six-week online inquiry by the Home Affairs Select Committee hopes to gain testimony from survivors of all forms of physical and psychological abuse.

Responses will help the committee formulate recommendations to ministers on how to tackle the issues.

Labour MP Keith Vaz said the voices of victims of forced marriage and "honour crimes" were "not often enough heard".

Mr Vaz, chairman of the committee, said domestic violence - whether by a relative, spouse or partner - constituted about 15% of all violent crime and killed two women every week in England and Wales.

"Huge numbers of women and men are affected daily by these crimes," he said. "Yet their voices are not often enough heard.

For far too long the plight of male domestic abuse victims has been swept under the carpet
Mark Brooks
The ManKind Initiative

"We want to listen to those who have experienced domestic abuse and forced marriage, since they know better than anyone else what works and what doesn't.

"What they say in the consultation will help us decide our recommendations to the government."

Male victims

Respondents will be asked for their opinions on prevention and identification of abuse, the quality of support services and their experience of the criminal justice system.

Mark Brooks, chairman of The ManKind Initiative, a national charity that supports men suffering domestic abuse, said two out every five victims were male.

"For far too long the plight of male domestic abuse victims has been swept under the carpet by the authorities," Mr Brooks said.

"This service will give them a welcome opportunity to make their voices heard so no longer can they be simply ignored."

The consultation will run from 21 January to 29 February and all responses will be confidential and anonymous.

About 12 people each year are thought to be victims of so-called honour killings in the UK, after supposedly behaving in a way that brings shame to their families.

Last week, a coroner in Cumbria ruled that teenager Shafilea Ahmed, who feared a marriage was being arranged by her parents, was the victim of a "vile murder".



SEE ALSO
'Honour crime' meeting to be held
11 Jan 08 |  Lancashire
Marriage fear teenager 'murdered'
11 Jan 08 |  Merseyside
A place of safety for Christmas
27 Dec 07 |  West Yorkshire
New forced marriage power planned
13 Dec 07 |  UK Politics
Help for 'honour crime' victims
21 Nov 07 |  England
Ethnic domestic violence 'hidden'
20 Sep 07 |  South West Wales

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