Zahira Patel notes that ten years after the murder of Banaz Mahmod honor killings haven’t gone away.
Working in the legal sector has also brought to light for me just how difficult it has become for victims of domestic violence to secure legal aid since the changes introduced by LASPO (The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012), which came into effect in 2013. As a result of these changes, a third of domestic violence victims are unable to provide the required evidence to secure legal aid, according to a Parliamentary watchdog report. Further, in 2014, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) released a damning report which concluded that “only 8 out of 43 forces respond well to domestic violence.” This report was followed by a subsequent investigation last year into the effectiveness of police responses to ‘honour’ based violence. Unsurprisingly, the report concluded that just 3 of the 43 forces were fully effective in their response, despite the fact “that no force in England and Wales can afford to say: ‘It doesn’t happen here’.”
It is clear: ten years after the murder of Banaz, we are still failing to safeguard victims of abuse and violence. How many more have to die before we demand adequate funding to safeguard all victims?
Well they’re only women, you know.