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Day of Memory 2024

Karma Nirvana’s Day of Memory Event: #WeRemember

Karma Nirvana’s Day of Memory Event: #WeRemember

Every year, we host our Day of Memory event, dedicated to remembering Shafilea Ahmed on her birthday, the 14th of July. Shafilea, a British-born girl, was tragically murdered by her parents at the age of 17 in 2003, due to her refusal to accept an arranged marriage.

This day serves as a poignant reminder of Shafilea’s story, and the countless others lost to Honour Based Abuse, including Fawziyah Javed, Somaiya Begum, and Saima Shahid.

This year, Shafilea would have turned 38, coinciding with a crucial milestone in the sector: The agreement on a sector-wide statutory definition for Honour Based Abuse in the UK.

Advocates and survivors stress the importance of a statutory definition in empowering victims, guiding practitioners, and informing policymakers. It provides a unified understanding of Honour Based Abuse, leading to better protection for victims and enabling policymakers to allocate resources effectively.

The focus of this year’s Day of Memory campaign is to remember those lost to Honour Based Abuse. We encourage practitioners to adopt the sector-wide approved definition within policies and procedures until the government establishes a statutory definition.

The sector-wide definition

An incident or pattern of violence, threats of violence, intimidation, coercion, control or abuse (including but not limited to psychological, physical, sexual, economic, spiritual, faith-related or emotional abuse) motivated by the perpetrator’s perception that an individual has shamed,
or may shame, the perpetrator, the family, or community or has otherwise broken, or may break, the perceived norms of the community’s accepted behaviours, including by speaking out about the abuse and where the perception of shame may also prevent a victim from accessing support or help.

This is an opportunity to make a real difference and honour the legacy of those affected by Honour Based Abuse. Let’s renew our drive to challenge Honour Based Abuse and continue pushing for change in their memory.

We call upon the government to recognise the severity of the issue and enact meaningful change by urgently creating an Honour Based Abuse definition in the statute book.