Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Team Is Fighting to Give Women the Choice to Marry; "HONOUR"violence and Forced Marriage Is a Taboo Subject but It Is Time for Change, as Reporter Sarah Dale Finds Out

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Team Is Fighting to Give Women the Choice to Marry; "HONOUR"violence and Forced Marriage Is a Taboo Subject but It Is Time for Change, as Reporter Sarah Dale Finds Out

Article excerpt

HALO shines a light on victims of "honour" violence and forced marriage.

The Halo Project, now in its second year, provides support and, where necessary, intervention to protect those on Teesside at risk of honour-based violence and forced marriage.

It has launched a new Time for Change campaign ahead of new legislation making forced marriage illegal in the UK.

In Teesside there have been a number of female suicides, often by fire, as well as murders of South Asian women and children, who have been considered to have brought "shame" or "dishonour" to their family.

Since launching in 2011, the response to The Halo Project, in central Middlesbrough, has been overwhelming with more than 100 victims coming forward for support and hundreds calling for advice.

The Time for Change campaign is designed to raise awareness so victims seek help at the earliest opportunity.

Halo Project spokeswoman Penny Thomas, said: "The response to our project has been overwhelming as Halo is filling a gap in provision for these victims.

"Many more than we help are going unreported; it's difficult to know exactly how many but we know there are significant numbers of people suffering.

"Our aim is to raise awareness so victims are more likely to seek help at an earlier stage and the relevant agencies can then intervene more quickly to prevent forced marriages, honour-based violence and the subsequent victimisation that is taking place. …

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