Conference raising awareness of forced marriage and honor based violence held at Hertfordshire Police headquarters

Survivor Jasvinder Sanghera founder and CEO of Karma Nirvana spoke during the roadshow at Hertfordsh

Survivor Jasvinder Sanghera founder and CEO of Karma Nirvana spoke during the roadshow at Hertfordshire Police HQ on Monday - Credit: Archant

More than one hundred and fifty people attended a conference at Hertfordshire Police headquarters this week, to raise awareness on forced marriage, honour based violence and female genital mutilation.

The conference, which was organised by Hertfordshire’s County Community Safety Unit, was held yesterday (Monday).

Speakers included Jasvinder Sanghera, survivor of a forced marriage and founder of Karma Nirvana, a national charity that supports victims and survivors of forced marriage and honour based abuse and Victoria White, from the Home Office Forced Marriage Unit, as well as detective superintendent Mick Hanlon, head of the County Community Safety Unit.

Speaking to the Comet Jasvinder said: “First and foremost we are here to raise awareness of this crime to members of the public and amongst professionals such as teachers, social workers and the police. We know that some of the cases that are reported are just the tip of the iceberg. This is a monumental milestone in giving people the confidence to come forward who are subject to these crimes. They can now say that it is a crime and perpetrators will now be aware that there will be consequences’ for their actions.”

Detective Chief Superintendent, Mick Campbell, head of operational support, said: “Attendees of the road show will be even better equipped at understanding new criminal offences relating to forced marriage and honour based violence, as well as improving their ability to identify potential victims and perpetrators, ultimately making our communities safer and enhancing trust and confidence in policing.

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“We are all committed to raising awareness and tackling the issues surrounding forced marriages and honour based violence and female genital mutilation, which are under – reported. Our message is clear – if you, or you suspect someone is the victim of one of these crimes do not suffer in silence – speak out. There is help available to you.”

Since April 1 Herts Police has investigated six cases of honour based violence which have been county wide. Figures for last year ****

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David Lloyd, Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, said: “Together with the new legislation passed on forced marriage last week, I hope all of this awareness will help to put an end to the unknown number of people who are needlessly made to suffer as a result of forced marriage, honour based violence and female genital mutilation.”

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