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What are harmful practices?
Harmful practices are a form of domestic abuse, which is usually a result of cultural beliefs. There are three main types of harmful practices, which are:
1. Honour-Based Abuse
2. Forced Marriage
3. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Honour is considered to be extremely important for some communities. If a member of a community brings dishonour to their family, this is considered to be shameful and can have severe consequences. Bringing dishonour onto a family can be punishable by emotional abuse, physical abuse, family disownment and even murder. The perpetrators of honour-based abuse can be immediate family, such as mothers, father, grandmothers etc, extended family and also the wider community.
Forced marriage is when a person does not give consent to the marriage but is forced or pressured into it. Different forms of abuse are used to force the individual into the marriage, this can be emotional abuse, physical abuse, coercive control. Similarly to honour-based abuse, forced marriage has multiple perpetrators. Forced marriage is illegal in the UK and a Forced Marriage Protection Order can be used to legally protect the individual.
Female genital mutilation (FGM), also called 'cutting', involves the removal of some or all of the external parts of a girl's genitalia (World Health Organisation). A harmful practice with no health benefits, FGM can cause long-lasting physical, emotional and psychological trauma and in some cases death.
Think! – A victim could be a visitor to the hotel, a friend or a colleague you work with!
Signs to spot
A person may be a victim if:
(These signs are similar to domestic abuse, as harmful practices are a form of domestic abuse).
Action to take
For further information:
Contact the City of London Public Protection Unit – [email protected]
Vulnerable Victims Advocate- [email protected] / 07944634946
Victim Supportline- 0808 1689 111
https://karmanirvana.org.uk/ - Provides a Communication toolkit with full material to help you ‘Shine the Spotlight’ on Honour Based Abuse across your professional and personal networks.
IKWRO (Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation)- + 44 207 920 6460
Ashiana- [email protected]
Forced Marriage Unit
Rights of Women
forwarduk.org.uk – Is the African women-led women’s rights organisation working to end violence against women and girls.
www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/fgm-pocket-guide-v5-final.pdf - a handy pocket guide providing help and support on FGM.
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