Tory MP calls for the term ‘honour killing’ to be banned

Posted On: 
30th January 2017

The term “honour killing” is preventing police from investigating domestic violence out of “political correctness”, a Conservative MP has said.

Conservative MP Nusrat Ghani at a Home Affairs Select Committee hearing last year
PA Images

Nusrat Ghani is proposing a bill in Parliament calling for the phrase “honour killing” to be banned in official publications and for support given to women who are subject to domestic violence while abroad to be strengthened.

The backbencher said she had seen “too many women” not get the help they need, with officers often being wary of intervening in so-called honour cases for fear of offending the community.

JCHR: Domestic policy on violence against women is lagging behind efforts abroad

£20m fund announced to help support victims of domestic abuse

Domestic abuse case increase could 'overwhelm' police

"I have spoken to police officers who practice in the north of the country who said they have seen their fellow officers not deal with these cases, as they would in other circumstances, because the term brings in so much other baggage - that it just seems too complicated to deal with. But it is just domestic violence,” she said.

Ms Ghani argued the term honour "disguises the horror of the violence that is inflicted", which can be used by the person carrying out the abuse "as an excuse to intimidate the prosecutor".

She also argued that the continuing use of the phrase risks undermining recent steps to help tackle domestic abuse, such as the criminalisation of coercive control.

"We have to make sure every victim is supported, and no political correctness or assumptions are made about a victim's background which means they cannot get equal support, respect and dignity when they come forward, and that they get the appropriate support,” she said.

"And also, that the authorities feel empowered to do something about it."

The Crime (Aggravated Murder of and Violence against Women) Bill will be put before MPs on Tuesday.

The legislation would require UK authorities to prosecute people who abuse and murder British women abroad, help to bring the victims home and pay for the repatriation of the bodies.

"We don't want to see a trend of women who are being abused being taken overseas for that abuse to continue. There are cases where that has happened,” she said.

"These are British citizens and we need them to feel we are on their side, and we need the perpetrators to realise they won't get away with it."

A Home Office spokesman said: "There is no 'honour' in so-called 'honour-based' crimes and this Government is clear we will not allow political or cultural sensitivities to get in the way of tackling this terrible form of abuse.

"No-one should suffer because of who they are or what community they are born into."