West Midlands CPS first in the country to publish leaflet on Honour Crimes and Forced Marriages
21 November 2007
The West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will today launch a leaflet with the aim of encouraging more victims and witnesses to report so- called honour crimes and forced marriages.
The leaflet - 'Love, "Honour" and Obey' is the first CPS publication of its kind in the country and will define offences of so-called honour crimes and forced marriages, and more importantly the support that is available to victims of such crimes.
David Blundell, Chief Crown Prosecutor for West Midlands CPS said; "Some communities talk of honour crimes and forced marriages. There is no such concept in English law. If a so called honour crime has taken place or a forced marriage, then criminal offences will have been committed and the police and the Crown Prosecution Service will do everything in their power to ensure successful prosecutions. We will protect and support victims during the criminal process.
"It is essential that we challenge views that justify the unjustifiable. Crime is crime; victimising your own family is unacceptable in the 21st Century.
"I would like to thank the voluntary sector in assisting us in the drafting of the leaflet. They will also help us in providing practical support to victims. Together we can make the unacceptable a thing of the past."
Imran Chaudhary from the Doli Project, who was part of the consultation group that looked at the design and content of the leaflet said: "Forced marriage and honour based violence often involve criminal offences that can be prosecuted under existing criminal law. The launch of this new CPS leaflet demonstrates their commitment to dealing with the challenges presented by these types of offences.
"It is important for victims to be aware that there is a wide range of support available to them, both from statutory agencies and community organisations, of which details can be found in this leaflet."
Notes to Editors
- In April 2007, the CPS launched the 'CPS Pilot Guidance for Honour Crime and Forced Marriages.' West Midlands CPS along with London, Lancashire and West Yorkshire were selected as the four pilot study Areas to monitor and criminal offence which was carried out in the context of honour crime or forced marriage.
- Trained specialist CPS prosecutors will examine and deal with each case appropriately.
- The aim of the project is to identify the number and pattern of forced marriage and so-called honour crimes, to identify any issues facing prosecutors in accurately identifying, managing and prosecuting such cases.
- The piloting phase of the project commenced in July 2007. It is planned to run until March 2008, with findings from the project expected to report later on in the year.
- In September 2007, six West Midlands based voluntary groups as well as a representative from Birmingham City University was invited to a consultation event on the design and content of the Love, Honour and Obey leaflet.
- The six groups were - Ashram Housing, Birmingham; Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Smetwick; Coventry Panaghar; Sandwell Women's Aid; Doli Project, Birmingham and Pan Birmingham Domestic Violence.
- The leaflet will be available in five different languages - English, Punjabi, Urdu, Bengali and Somali.
- For further information or interview requests, please contact West Midlands CPS Communications Manager on 0121 262 1531 or 07753 895 240.
- ISDN Line is available for radio interviews.
- Download the Love, Honour and Obey leaflet in Adobe Acrobat PDF here.