Greater Manchester Police hosted a significant event at its headquarters, dedicated to the complex issue of Honour-Based Abuse (HBA).
Honour-based abuse entails criminal acts committed to preserve the perceived ‘honour’ of a family or community. Individuals deemed to have brought shame or embarrassment through their conduct may face punishment, as their family or community seeks to uphold their ‘honour’ code.
This form of abuse encompasses a wide range of criminal behaviors, including forced and child marriages, domestic abuse, controlling and coercive behavior, sexual harassment and violence, threats to life, physical and emotional violence leading to murder, abduction, forced confinement, denial of communication tools and internet access, control over essential documents like passports, and intentional isolation from friends and family, including children.
Honour-based abuse champions
In response to this pervasive issue, the police force has introduced Honour-Based Abuse Champions who have undergone additional training to deepen their understanding of HBA and its impact on victims and survivors.
These champions play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of victims, sharing their knowledge of the subject matter across the force, and tirelessly pursuing justice for victims of HBA by going after perpetrators.
They receive comprehensive training, have access to support resources, and can consult with subject matter experts within GMP, making them well-equipped to provide the right support and assistance to victims, aligning with the force’s commitment to eradicating Honour-Based Abuse.
The recent event brought together 54 dedicated Honour-Based Abuse Champions who exchanged valuable insights from across the force and learned from external speakers who shared their personal experiences and best practices in dealing with Honour-Based Abuse.
Lucky Roy Singh, an award-winning LGBTQ+ activist, also attended the event and shared their experiences of forced marriage, honour-based abuse, and domestic abuse.
Lucky said: “Empowering our officers with knowledge and empathy is the key to building a safer society. Through comprehensive police training, we are not only combatting honour-based abuse and domestic violence but also championing the rights of all individuals.
“Today, we stand united in our commitment to promoting queer rights, trans rights, and non-binary inclusion, ensuring that our diverse communities feel safe, respected, and protected under the law. With each training session and events like this, we are breaking barriers and dismantling stereotypes, fostering a culture of understanding and acceptance within law enforcement.
“Together with this collaboration, we are reshaping the future, embracing the complexities of human identity, and working tirelessly to build a society free from discrimination and oppression and keeping the conversation and education on Honour Based Abuse”.
One survivor, Memory Nyahunzwi, and founder of the Olive Pathway charity, spoke about their experience of being an asylum seeker in a forced marriage in which they were subjected to various forms of HBA and domestic violence. Their aim is to educate, empower, and assist victims while preventing similar abuse within black communities.
Detective constable Sarah Leyland, the Honour Based Abuse Subject Matter Expert for GMP, who organised the event said: “I am immensely proud to witness the emergence of 54 Honour Based Abuse champions across the force that are ready to apply and share their knowledge with other colleagues and use it within our communities.
“Their commitment to furthering their education, championing empowerment, and responding to Honour Based Abuse incidents is truly commendable. We are extremely thankful to the speakers at our event at Force HQ and for sharing their powerful stories and contributing to the collective strength against this pervasive issue. As a force, we will continue to detect, identify, and confront Honour Based Abuse, ensuring that our efforts make a profound impact on the lives of those in need across Greater Manchester.”