The Domestic Abuse Commissioner responds to the government response to Committee inquiry on so-called honour-based abuse

The government has today published its response to the Women and Equalities Select Committee report into so-called honour based abuse.

Responding to the government’s response to the inquiry, Nicole Jacobs, the Domestic Abuse Commissioner for England and Wales, says:

“The government has made significant progress in tackling so-called honour-based abuse, including strengthening legislation on female gentile mutilation, forced marriage, and ‘virginity testing’.

“It is also positive to see government considering Article 59 of the Istanbul Convention which would give security to victims and survivors of domestic abuse, including so-called honour-based abuse, whose immigration status is tied to their abuser.

“But there is still a long way to go to truly tackle the harm caused by so-called honour-based abuse. I urge the government to reconsider its response to this report.

“I am disappointed to see the government reject calls for a statutory definition of so-called honour-based abuse, which would recognise the severity of this crime, raise awareness, and bring more perpetrators to justice.

“I am also concerned that government rejected the Committee’s recommendation for a firewall, which would allow victims of domestic abuse to safely report to the police without fear of deportation or detention. This rejection stands in direct opposition to the Government’s position that all victims of crime are victims first and foremost regardless of immigration status.

“I will continue to work closely with government to progress the critical action needed to reduce, and one day end, this horrific form of domestic abuse. “

Watch the Domestic Abuse Commissioner give evidence to the Women and Equalities Select Committee here, from 15:00.