Forced marriage and honour violence 'worse than people think'

Organisations set-up to help victims of forced marriage and honour-based violence say the problem is worse than people think.

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College trains staff and students spotting tell-tale signs of violence

Staff and Students at Middlesbrough College at a training session with the Halo Project Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Middlesbrough College has teamed up with the Halo Project to educate staff and students in ways to spot honour-based violence and help victims of forced marriage.

The College says it doesn't have a specific problem. But it acknowledges its students are from a diverse range of communities.

Its Principal Zoe Lewis says that enabling staff and students to know how to deal with the problem means they can help those in trouble at an early stage.

Claims honour-based violence unreported because of racism fears

There are claims that honour-based violence in communities across the North East goes unreported because people are frightened of being branded racist.

An investigation by ITV Tyne Tees has revealed that those involved in helping victims of forced marriage and honour-based violence believe the scale of the problem is growing.

Claire Phillipson from Wearside Women in Need says that while the number of people approaching her for help is alarming, what is more worrying is the number who are not.


Victim forced to marry sex offender

Across the region women's refuges say more than half of those being looked after are victims of forced marriage and honour-based violence.

This woman told Correspondent Kenny Toal how her parents forced her to move from Pakistan to the UK and marry an older man.

What they didn't know was he was a convicted sex offender who locked her in a room and abused her.

Hundreds trapped in forced marriages

Hundreds of people across the North East are trapped in a marriage that is not of their choosing and facing a life of violence if they try and leave.

Organisations who work with victims of forced marriage and so-called honour-based violence say the problem is far greater than anyone imagines.

Victims are encouraged to move forward Credit: ITV

A new bill has just been passed in Parliament which will make Forced Marriage a criminal offence. That's due to become law later this year.

Today organisations who work with victims say they hope that will encourage more to come forward.

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