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Page last updated at 16:58 GMT, Monday, 4 February 2008
Honour crimes 'widely underestimated'
Tulip Mazumdar
Health reporter, Radio 1

There are claims honour crimes aren't being taken seriously enough by the government.

Forced Marriage Unit poster campaign
Shazia Keyum was forced into an arranged marriage she didn't want

There are also worries schools and police are not doing enough to help young people who could be at risk of things like forced marriages, false imprisonment and so called "honour killings".

Shazia Keyum was tricked into going to Pakistan when she was 15 and was married off to someone she didn't want to be with.

"On the arrival to Pakistan and a week into the holiday I was told that marriage preparations were going ahead and it was my marriage.

"I was also told that no was not an option and that if I didn't go through with the marriage I wouldn't be able to return to the UK.

"Unfortunately I didn't feel that I could turn to anybody abroad or any member of my family.

"I went ahead with the marriage and then I was forced to sponsor my spouse for entrance to the UK."

Honour crime or just crime?

Lots of people do not think it is helpful to label what they say is just domestic abuse or murder by sticking the word "honour" in.

But the definition of "honour crimes" tends to be crimes against relatives who are thought to have bought shame on the family.

I did leave home. I rang the police and was escorted from the property. My father was shouting abuse. He said he would find me and kill me
Shazia Keyum

So, for example, a daughter or son may be seen to be making the family look bad by not agreeing to marry someone their elders have chosen for them.

So they are forced into it with threats of violence or even death.

In extreme cases where the dishonour is seen as so bad, some families feel it's better for the relative to be killed rather than carry on living bringing shame to the rest of the family.

Police believe there may be 12 honour killings a year in the UK.

It's most common in south Asian communities, and in communities or families dominated by men.

A man's problem too

Government figures show 15% of the people who try to get help because of fears of being forced into marriage are men or boys.

Imran Rehman was 10 when he was taken to Pakistan and was married to a girl he had never met.

He only realised what had happened when he was shown a picture of the ceremony as a teenager.

"It made me feel sick, knowing that was my engagement. I went off the rails.

"I got into the wrong crowd, I got into fights, I got expelled from two schools."

A new report by The Centre for Social Cohesion has found that honour-based violence is not just a problem among first generation immigrant families.

It is now being carried out by immigrants born and brought up in the UK and the idea of honour is still important to younger members of immigrant families.



SEE ALSO
Two in court over 'honour' death
Friday, 25 January 2008, 11:55 GMT |  London
Call to re-name 'honour' killings
Wednesday, 16 January 2008, 15:03 GMT |  Lancashire
'I was manipulated into marriage'
Wednesday, 16 January 2008, 11:34 GMT |  UK

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