Northampton

Crackdown on honour-based violence in Northamptonshire

Leaders within minority groups in Northamptonshire are to trained to assist in a crackdown on so-called honour-based violence.

Police hope the influence of such individuals will help make the crime unacceptable within its communities.

"Honour" violence is defined as any attack on a person perceived to have brought shame on a family.

Women's Aid said that it had helped dozens of women affected by the crime in the county this year alone.

'Very very scared'

Chris Starmer, from the charity, said: "We had a young girl of 19 referred to us through her GP.

"Her father was trying to send her back to her country of origin to a forced marriage to a man that was old enough to be her father.

"Before that marriage took place she was to undergo female genital mutilation. She was very very scared."

Mrs Starmer said that while the charity could support many of those who asked for help, there were many more who suffered in silence.

She added: "Raising awareness of honour violence is important so that victims of the crime know that support is available and so that professionals within the community know how they can help."

Detective Inspector Andy Glenn, of Northamptonshire Police, said that while he wanted to raise awareness generally he believed the appointments within minority groups would be particularly effective.

He said: "We recognise that sometimes it's difficult for the police to get those messages across so one of the things we are doing is working with community members.

"We have started to train key members of certain communities to get them to understand the impact of honour-based violence - how it can affect victims, how it can affect communities."

These people will then be tasked with educating their communities about the crime.

Det Insp Glenn added: "What we really want to do is work closely with community to make honour-based violence unacceptable."

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