GirlWe have launched a series of powerful short videos covering a range of harms that are too often hidden behind closed doors. The videos will be shown for the first time at an event in front of students at South and City College, Small Heath, Birmingham to coincide with International Women’s Day.

The videos shed a light on the impact of hidden harms such as honour-based abuse and forced marriage by telling and recreating personal and harrowing stories of some of those affected by these crimes.

What is forced marriage and honour based abuse?

Forced marriage became an offence in 2014. In the West Midlands, it is believed that a handful of forced marriage offences are recorded each year, although the problem could be more significant. During 2015, there were five convictions for honour-based crimes in the West Midlands.

Forced marriage and honour-based abuse are believed to be particularly under-reported with victims often too fearful of family or community reactions to come forward.

Nelam Kellay, a local Crimestoppers volunteer, who worked on this project says: “These crimes are very sensitive and victims are too afraid to come forward in case of ‘shaming’ their family. Crimestoppers’ key promise is anonymity and so gives victims the reassurance they need to come out.”

Everyone can contribute to the fight against these hidden harms. Your information has the potential to protect someone at risk. We don’t take personal details and we can’t trace calls or information given online. Call us on 0800 555 111 or visit our online form to report information anonymously.

What can you do to help stop these hidden harms?

We're hoping this campaign will help highlight forced marriage and honour based abuse and make the public aware of the issue and encourage more people to speak out.

“Violence and abuse against women ruins and damages lives, sometimes ultimately leading to the deaths of the females involved. This is happening in the UK as well as elsewhere in the world.

“We are urging those with information to report these crimes either directly to the police or by contacting Crimestoppers to pass on information in complete anonymity. As an independent charity we play a vital role in giving people an ability to speak up about crime without fear of retribution or reprisals. We never ask for personal details, you’ll never have to give a statement to the police or go to court.”

- Pauline Hadley, Crimestoppers’ Regional Manager for the West Midlands


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