In Muslim* communities, where forced marriage, often to underage girls, is the norm, controlling women’s behavior is seen as key to the honor of the family. Having a boyfriend, wearing make-up or Western clothes, refusing to marry someone chosen by your family or leaving an abusive husband – these can all be seen as dishonorable acts.
[*Note: In this documentary, the PC-obsessed Brits refer to Muslims as ‘Asians’ so as to make you think they are not talking about Muslims]
BBC Panorama Most of these victims seem to come from Pakistan as young brides, had their passports taken away and were often locked up, not even allowed to learn English. They suffered in silence, cut off from the outside world. They were treated as virtual slaves, doing all the housework, and none of them understood what they had done to deserve such treatment. They had some semblance of freedom in Pakistan but that all changes when they come to England and are beaten not only by her husband but by the in-laws as well.
The suicide rate amongst Muslim women in Britain is three times the national average, as women who see no other way out of an abusive marriage take what they see as the only way out and kill themselves. And there are between 10 and 12 cases of “honour” killing a year, all of them characterised by extreme violence. Often several relatives are involved and the murder is sanctioned by the wider family.
No one really knows how many “honour” crimes there are in this country. The Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO), has recently carried out a survey of police forces statistics, which found there are 2,823 “honour” crimes a year. That’s nearly eight a day. But a quarter of forces did not respond and many crimes go unreported, so the figure is far higher.