Monday, March 19, 2012

18% of Young Asian Brits Support 'Honor' Based Violence

A poll sponsored by the BBC found that of the 500 young Asian Brits surveyed, 18% (1 in 5) think it's okay to beat the heck out of women if they've 'dishonored' their families. Killing them, not so much. Only 3% justified 'honor killings' for either

disobeying a father, rejecting a prearranged marriage, or marrying someone unacceptable by the family.

Not surprisingly, 6 percent of those were men as opposed to 1 percent of women.

A great majority of the 16 to 34-year-olds polled believe that 'honor' (as if violence is honorable) is a very important element in family life.  75% of those were men versus 63% of women. 

Violence against women is a huge global problem, but in a culture that devalues women and places more importance on 'honor' it becomes monumental.  And although Muslims aren't the only ones who participate in 'honor killings' and violence against women, it doesn't help matters that the Quran actually promotes wife beating for disobedience.

 Karma Nirvana,

...a charity that supports victims and survivors of honor based violence, reported on its Website that it receives “on average approximately 5,000 calls a year on our national helpline supporting all victims and survivors of forced marriage and honor based abuse.”

Jasvinder Sanghera, of the Karma Nirvana, fled her parent’s home when they attempted to force her into an arranged marriage at the age of 14.

She urged Asian community leaders in Britain to speak against the honor code, also known as “Izzat” in Urdu language.

“I’ve yet to see community leaders, religious leaders, politicians; Asian councilors give real leadership on this. They don’t because they know it makes them unpopular,” Sanghera told the BBC.

According to a spokesperson for the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organization (IKWRO), last year in the U.K. there were over 2,800  cases of  "‘honor’ based violence" reported to the police.

“These figures demonstrate that ‘honor’ based violence is not a minor problem but a very serious issue which affects thousands of people each year, many of whom will suffer high levels of abuse before they seek help,”

Many feel that 'forced marriage' is a major factor in honor based violence, so in an effort to thwart violence against young women who refuse to marry men that their families match them up with, Brit authorities are considering criminalizing it.

The Home Office has launched a campaign seeking public opinion on creating a specific criminal offence for forced marriages and how it should be formulated.

I sincerely doubt anything will come of it. Arranged marriages are a long standing tradition for many Asians, and laws won't prevent them from taking place, or the violence against a daughter/sister who refuses to comply.

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