A CONFERENCE highlighting so-called ‘honour’ violence and forced marriage takes place in Poole today.
Charity Karma Nirvana and the police’s Forced Marriage Unit have teamed-up to organise the roadshow, which will be attended by more than 550 professionals and community leaders from across the county.
The world reacted with horror last month, following the death of pregnant Farzana Parveen, who was murdered by a 20-strong mob of her own relatives in a busy Pakistan street.
But honour-based violence and forced marriage cases happen much closer to home. There were 22 incidents reported in Bournemouth and Poole last year.
Detective Chief Inspector Jez Noyce, right, Dorset Police’s serious crimes investigations manager, said: “People often think that forced marriage and honour-based violence do not happen here in Dorset, primarily because the populations normally affected by these crimes are relatively small.
“However, as we have seen in other parts of the country, this means that potential victims could actually be at greater risk because they are far more isolated.”
The roadshow, hosted by the Safer Poole Partnership and Dorset Police at Poole’s Lighthouse Theatre, will focus on the new forced marriage law, which takes effect on June 16.
Jasvinder Sanghera, who founded national charity Karma Nirvana after suffering honour-based violence herself, will be one of the speakers.
- Members of the public can follow along and ask questions on Twitter between 10am and 1pm, using the hashtag #KNRDorset
Supporting those at risk
A charity spokesman said: “Forced marriage becomes a criminal offence for the first time in England & Wales which means for the first time a victim can call it a crime in its own right.
“This is historical and means that those convicted can be sentenced for up to seven years and the breech of forced marriage protection orders will become a criminal offence.”
Borough of Poole leader and Safer Poole Partnership chairman Cllr Elaine Atkinson said she was “delighted” that Poole is set to host such a significant event.
She added: “Many of the frontline workers attending this event will have to deal with these issues at some point in their careers so it is essential that they are able to identify and support those at risk.”