Briefing on ‘h
based violence and the violence against women and girls action plan
By the Iranian and Kurdish Wome
n’s Rights O
based violence (herein HBV) and the strategic narrative
government’s Call to End Violence against Women and Girls (25 Nov 2010) states:
We need to ensure that there is effective action to prevent (HBV) from happening and we need toencourage greater reporting of these crimes. We recognise that not all women and girls want to takeaction through the criminal justice system; but if they have been affected by this type of abuse it isimportant that they are able to seek the support which is most appropriate to them. This could befrom a hospital, a school, the police, a housing service, a voluntary agency or from family and friends.
The Call goes on to pledge that the government will:
Continue to raise awareness of HBV and ensure victims are aware of their rights and the support available to them. For example, we will develop a resource pack about forms of HBV for new and recent entrants to the United Kingdom to assist them in understanding their rights here and signpost them to support services.
IKWRO is keen to understand what is meant by ‘raise awareness’ and
to ascertain who the target of awareness raising activities would be. While it is useful to ensure that victims understand theirrights and know what help is available, efforts are also needed to improve the support andprotection available to victims of HBV.
HBV training for staff in statutory bodies
IKWRO encounters bad practice among statutory agencies on an unacceptably regular basis. We arenow cataloguing all incidents and recent examples include:Several police officers breached guidelines by turning away HBV victims, approaching theirfamilies or spouses and disclosing details of their whereabouts to their abusers.A police interpreter disclosed details of an HBV case to the community. When we raisedthis, the police dismissed our fears that this posed
a risk to the victim’s safety.
Social workers returned a 16 year old girl at high risk of forced marriage to her father, whothen carried out his plans. The girl ran away and social services do not know where she is.
A nurse admitted a 20 year old woman’s family to see her after she had given birth
that they had ‘a right to see their daughter’
. The woman had kept her pregnancy from themand we had advised the hospital not to admit the family because of the risk of HBV.A number of housing authorities refused to help clients who had had to leave home becauseof HBV, arguing that they were
Effective training on HBV must be provided to these bodies to enable their staff to identify andrespond to HBV cases. Without this, activities which target women will have a limited impact. Theaction plan must address this issue in order to ensure that victims of HBV get the help they need.
Improved data collection