Skip to content

Navigation breadcrumbs

  1. Home
  2. News
  3. Karma Nirvana Commemorates Fawziyah Javed in...
3rd March 2024

Karma Nirvana Commemorates Fawziyah Javed in Documentary Exposing Honour-Based Abuse 

We are proud to announce the release of “The Push,” a compelling documentary shedding light on the tragic case of Fawziyah Javed.

We are a national charity dedicated to supporting victims of Honour Based Abuse and Forced Marriage. We are proud to announce the release of “The Push,” a compelling documentary shedding light on the tragic case of Fawziyah Javed. Fawziyah died after she was pushed from Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh by her husband Kashif Anwar on 2nd September 2021. Her life, alongside her unborn baby, was brutally cut short. After falling 50ft off a cliff edge, Fawziyah was able to tell passers-by what had happened before she died. 

About the Documentary 

The documentary, produced by Candour Productions, delves into the complexities of Fawziyah’s experiences of Domestic and Honour Based Abuse in the lead-up to her untimely death. It’s the story of a remarkable family from Leeds fighting for justice in the courts in Scotland for the murder of their daughter, Fawziyah Javed. At the heart of this documentary is the heartfelt acknowledgement of Fawziyah Javed and the remarkable person she was. Karma Nirvana extends gratitude to Candour Productions for sharing and telling her story with care and respect, aiming to honour Fawziyah’s memory and raise awareness about the devastating impact of both Domestic and Honour Based Abuse. This is a 2-part series which will air on Channel 4 at 9pm on the 3rd March and 9pm on 4th March, and will be available for streaming. We also want to thank Channel 4 for giving space for Candour Productions to tell Fawziyah’s story. 

An alarming number of women and girls are subjected to violence each year, and it is disheartening to add Fawziyah’s name to the list of those impacted. Through counting the lives lost, we aim to raise awareness about the pervasive issue that affects countless families. Fawziyah was a remarkable individual who touched the lives of so many through her kindness, generosity, and selflessness, and we commit to remembering Fawziyah for her caring nature. Fawziyah’s passion for helping others was evident from a young age. She volunteered with numerous charities and organisations, always going above and beyond to make a difference in the lives of those who were less fortunate.  

Defining Honour Based Abuse 

Honour Based Abuse is a deeply entrenched issue that affects individuals across communities and cultures. For some communities, the concept of ‘honour’ is prized above the safety and well-being of individuals. To compromise a family’s ‘honour’ is to bring dishonour and shame – which can have severe consequences. It can lead to the justification of emotional and physical abuse, disownment, and in extreme cases, even murder to preserve family honour and avoid shame. Cases such as Fawziyah’s stress the importance of having a clear and comprehensive understanding of this complex issue, and a clear definition to protect victims effectively. We recognise that until a definition is put into the statute book and properly reflected in government language, this issue will continue to be misunderstood, under-represented and inadequately resourced.  

We urge the government to introduce a statutory definition of Honour Based Abuse. With this critical starting point in place, this will allow for: 

  1. Better identification of Honour Based Abuse through consistent interpretation and enhanced identification 
  2. More support and protection for victims, with better guidance for practitioners, plus empowerment for victims through validating their experiences 
  3. Accurate data collection and research through consistent reporting  
  4. Appropriate and informed resource allocation from policymakers, which is evidence-based and ensures the necessary resources are allocated appropriately to address challenges 

Impact on Yasmin 

Although Fawziyah’s murderer has been convicted, her mother Yasmin is left grappling with the trauma of losing her only child. Yasmin’s experiences documented in “The Push,” exemplify the daily struggles faced by the families of victims and the profound impact on their lives. Yasmin describes how the perpetrator may have received the prison sentence, but the family are the ones who have received the life sentence through experiencing the loss of Fawziyah for the rest of their lives. Yasmin bravely strives to prevent others from enduring similar fates, and has established the Fawziyah Javed Foundation, offering practical support to parents of homicide victims. Karma Nirvana is honoured to support Yasmin and the Javed family, and we are committed to continuing to address both Domestic and Honour Based Abuse. 

The complexities of Honour Based Abuse 

Fawziyah’s story challenges stereotypes, illustrating that Honour Based Abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of their independence, career-mindedness, or the nature of their marriage. Fawziyah was a privately educated, driven, and independent woman, who chose to marry for love to someone of her choosing. Honour Based Abuse is not limited to a single religion or culture, and Karma Nirvana encourages everyone to be vigilant about the signs of abuse, irrespective of religious or cultural background. 

Fawziyah’s case unveils the role extended family members played in enabling abuse, emphasising the wider dynamics of Honour Based Abuse and the unique challenges victims face. The documentary underscores the crucial need to recognise and address familial complicity in cases of Honour Based Abuse. 

The perpetrator’s father & friends 

It is deeply concerning that the Anwar family and representatives have normalised what is clearly domestic abuse. It is already difficult for victims to speak up about abuse, therefore family and friends minimising this perpetuates the abuse through gaslighting victims, and even victim’s families in cases such as in Fawziyah’s. 

Shaykh Mohammed also denies evidence of physical abuse by Kashif. Karma Nirvana rejects the idea that Fawziyah’s experience was the “normal ups and downs of marriage”. This is clearly domestic abuse, and it should not be normalised in any circumstances. Additionally, the documentary highlights numerous incidents where the perpetrator was physically abusive, including CCTV and a video recorded police interview of Fawziyah describing a physical assault, where the perpetrator put a pillow over Fawziyah’s face whilst punching her. 

Of great concern is the normalisation of such abuse by the Anwar family and their representatives. This normalisation not only makes it harder for victims like Fawziyah to come forward but also perpetuates the cycle by gaslighting victims and their families, further undermining their sense of reality and agency. 

The documentary scrutinises Fawziyah’s relationship with Kashif, revealing that the abuse she endured was far from typical relationship dynamics, countering claims from Anwar’s circle that such ups and downs are normal. Recognising these warning signs is crucial in preventing tragedies like Fawziyah’s. Karma Nirvana endeavours to debunk misconceptions surrounding domestic abuse, raising awareness to empower victims to recognise the signs and seek help promptly. 

Domestic abuse encompasses various forms – physical, emotional, mental, sexual, or financial – and can occur during or after a relationship within intimate or family settings, leaving victims feeling powerless, making it difficult for the person experiencing abuse to have control over their own life or leave the relationship. There may be one or multiple forms of abuse present. While each situation is unique, it’s the recurring pattern and combination of abusive behaviours that make it challenging and intimidating for victims. 

 In addition, Mohammed Anwar asserts that Fawziyah belonged to the Anwar family, not the Javed family, highlighting a troubling perspective rooted in Honour Based Abuse. This attitude, which centres on the ownership of women, reveals a deeply ingrained patriarchal mindset that perceives women as becoming the property of their in-laws upon marriage. Such a viewpoint reflects a concerning “norm” within Honour Based Abuse, where the autonomy and identity of women are compromised, emphasising the need for awareness and intervention to challenge these harmful beliefs and practices.  
Moreover, remarks regarding the inability to pursue divorce within the Anwar family shed light on the pervasive presence of coercive control in Honour Based Abuse. This manipulative form of control accentuates the shame experienced by victims who dare to deviate from perceived ‘societal norms’, illustrating the intricate dynamics inherent in HBA. These challenges underscore the formidable obstacles victims encounter in their journey to seek support and break free from abusive situations. 

Recognising the signs of Domestic Abuse and Honour Based Abuse 

It is crucial for professionals and the public to know the indicators of Domestic Abuse, including the triggers for escalating abuse. The documentary dispels misconceptions, such as the belief that certain life events, such as pregnancy, might reduce a victim’s risk when in reality, they often trigger escalating abuse.  

Professionals use a tool called the ‘dash risk assessment’ to evaluate a victim’s risk, which provides a consistent tool to help identify individuals at high risk of harm to be referred for further support. Questions about physical abuse such as pushing, shoving to strangulation are covered, as well as sexual abuse, stalking and harassment, coercion threats and intimidation, emotional abuse, isolation and economic abuse. It is important to recognise the signs of high risk, but also very important to talk to professionals to help protect victims effectively. 

In Fawziyah’s case, it was clear Fawziyah was facing a complex and high-risk situation, involving multiple forms of abuse. There were several high-risk factors present, such as separation, coercive control, excessive jealousy, isolation, and economic abuse, all of which contributed to a dangerous environment for her. Let’s break down some of these risk factors: 

Risks of collecting evidence 

Fawziyah’s meticulous planning and the evidence she left behind played a pivotal role in securing a successful conviction, however, Karma Nirvana emphasises the risks associated with this and cautions against holding evidence unsafely. You should consider the risks, and it is important to note that saving pictures and recordings can significantly increase your risk, if detected by the perpetrator. 

Supporting victims of abuse 

Before Fawziyah’s tragic death, Yasmin reached out to our helpline for support and reported repeated threats made to both herself and Fawziyah. One of our call logs became crucial evidence when her abuser sought bail, exposing the gravity of the threat he posed and helping to protect Yasmin and her family. This underscores the significance of seeking support and providing victims with options to protect themselves from further harm. 

Lastly, Karma Nirvana stresses that the guilt surrounding abuse solely rests on the perpetrator. Through supporting numerous families navigating domestic homicide, we understand the complex emotions they grapple with, including feelings of guilt and regret for not recognising signs sooner. While acknowledging the signs of domestic abuse were present, we want to stress that the burden of guilt solely rests on the individuals responsible for perpetrating the violence. 

If you think someone you know is experiencing abuse, taking the time to learn about how abuse takes place and creating safe spaces to support them are two important steps in helping your loved one reach safety and freedom. Creating safe spaces for individuals to recognise signs of domestic abuse is crucial, and organisations like Women’s Aid and Refuge provide valuable guidelines on how to support family members in such situations. When someone discloses domestic abuse, it’s essential to validate, listen, and believe them. It’s important to help the victims understand what their options are and how to leave safely but you should avoid putting yourself in danger and refrain from making decisions on behalf of the victim. Acknowledge their strength in reaching out.  

Domestic abuse is about control, so empowering survivors to make choices for themselves is vital. Use supportive language that avoids judgment and stereotypes and recognise their barriers to leaving. Encourage victims to reach out to professional support services like Women’s Aid, where they can find trained support workers ready to help confidentially. Remember that self-care is important for supporters as well, ensuring they don’t put themselves in dangerous situations or confront the abuser directly, which can escalate the abuse. 

What next 

In unveiling critical insights into Fawziyah’s case, Karma Nirvana urges society to address these key messages to prevent such tragedies. The documentary explores honour dynamics, familial complicity, and the recognition of domestic abuse within relationships. It challenges stereotypes by illustrating that anyone can be a victim and the significance of helpline support as a lifeline for victims. 

We remain committed to supporting victims and their families, dispelling misconceptions about guilt, and issuing a call to action to end violence against women and girls. The release of this documentary serves  to commemorate Fawziyah Javed and to raise awareness and empower individuals to break free from all forms of abuse. 

Karma Nirvana will: 

If you’ve been impacted by the documentary, please contact us on our helpline or email us at [email protected] 

The Javed family has requested Karma Nirvana to field all press requests.  

For press inquiries, contact: info@karmanirvana.org.uk