News – Honour-based abuse victims ask for help after escaping their abusers

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/uk-news/honour-based-abuse-victims-ask-25146310

The number of callers suffering from honour-based abuse fell last year – but more victims asked for help after escaping their abusers as the UK ended pandemic restrictions. For the first time, figures provided by Karma Nirvana – the specialist charity for victims and survivors of honour-based abuse – were published alongside other domestic abuse figures by the Office for National Statistics.

They show that Karma Nirvana supported 2,274 people suffering some form of honour-based abuse in the year ending March 2022, down by 11% from 2,566 cases the previous year. However, among those, 890 callers asked for help after fleeing honour-based abuse, forced marriage, or domestic abuse – up by 52% from 586 the previous year.

That means 29% of victims who called in for help had escaped their abusers last year, as opposed to 17% during the pandemic. That is probably because Covid-19 restrictions meant people were expected to remain in their own households – which left victims of domestic as well as honour-based abuse trapped at home with their abusers.

Honour-based abuse can include child marriage, virginity testing, enforced abortion, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, as well as physical, sexual, and economic abuse and coercive control. It can affect people of all ages but often starts early in the family home. Perpetrators are often partners, ex-partners, or family members. But Karma Nirvana says that most victims suffer abuse from multiple perpetrators, which could also include parents and siblings.

Of callers to the helpline last year, more than one in five were victimised by their partner (22%), while 11% said they were suffering at the hands of their father, 10% were suffering abuse from their mother, 9% from an ex-partner, husband or wife, and 4% from their brother. Another 14% just said they were suffering abuse from their family, while 17% would not state their relationship with their abuser.

Honour-based abuse was the most common trigger for victims calling the helpline, with 42% seeking help with this. In addition to the 29% who were calling after fleeing from abuse, 7% said they were suffering from domestic abuse. Just under 5% said they had been threatened with a forced marriage overseas, another 4% were facing a forced marriage at an unknown location and 3% had already been forced to marry.138403277311

The most common type of abuse was emotional (27%) followed by coercive control (23%) and then physical abuse (14%). But some callers needed help with specific abuse such as threats to kill, stalking, virginity testing, child marriage, and even revenge porn.

The vast majority of the callers were women (85%), while 9% were men and 10 callers (less than 1%) were transgender. Other callers did not state their gender. Nearly a quarter of calls for help (23%) were from teenagers and young adults aged between 16 and 25, while 14% came from those aged between 26 and 35 and 8% from the 36 to 45-years age group.

But there were also 77 calls from children under the age of 16 (3%) and three calls from pensioners aged over 65. More than a third did not disclose their ethnic group (36%), but of those who did, 45% were from the Asian or Asian British ethnic group, 4% were Black and 3% were White.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/uk-news/honour-based-abuse-victims-ask-25146310

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