First national memorial day for victims of 'honour killings' marked on Teesside

The first memorial day for victims of honour killings is being marked across the country today.

Honour killings are murders committed to protect the reputation of a family or community. Today's date is significant, as it Shafilea Ahmed's birthday. She was murdered by her parents when she was 17 for attempting to live a western lifestyle and refusing to enter into a forced marriage.

Today the Halo Project, an organisation that combats honour-based violence, gathered North East police, prosecutors, crime commissioners and other agencies in Middlesbrough to sign their pledge to help end honour violence for good.

Honour based violence is often hidden in communities and is often an extremely dangerous crime.

We must empower victims to come forward and seek the specialist and confidential support networks available throughout Cleveland and the wider region.

Victims must know that they have somewhere to turn to and the charter provides a framework for ourselves and our partner agencies to be able to support them.

– Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger