Minister for Preventing Abuse, Exploitation and Crime Karen Bradley met survivors of honour-based violence and forced marriage today to hear how they overcame their experiences, during a visit to a charity in Leeds.
Karma Nirvana provides support to victims of forced marriage and other forms of honour-based violence. The charity also operates a national Honour Network Helpline, which answers over 600 calls a month.
The Minister was shown around the call centre and met those who deal with calls every day. She discussed the types of calls and challenges received by the helpline.
Minister for Preventing Abuse, Exploitation and Crime Karen Bradley said:
Karma Nirvana is providing vital support to victims of forced marriage and other forms of so called honour-based violence, and we will continue working with them to help victims find a way out of their situation and to ensure those at risk are protected.
Forced marriage is a terrible form of abuse, and this Government is clear that we will not allow political or cultural sensitivities to get in the way of tackling it.
No one should suffer because of who they are or what community they are born into.
Karma Nirvana CEO Jasvinder Sanghera said:
We are delighted that the Minister responsible for preventing abuse, exploitation and crime visited Karma Nirvana to learn more about our work. It is also good news that the Minister visited our charity based in the North of England as there is great national work happening in the North.
She was able to hear directly about our work with victims experiencing honour-based abuse and forced marriages and the national impact we make.
The Government has taken a range of action to tackle all forms of violence against women and girls, including significantly strengthening the law in relation to the specific offences of female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage.
The UK is a world-leader in the fight to stamp out forced marriage. The joint Home Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office Forced Marriage Unit runs a helpline which provides support and advice to survivors, women and girls at risk, as well as professionals, to combat this abuse both at home and abroad.