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31 March 2011, 06:00
The amount of incidents of honour based violence in Hertfordshire has gone down - but police are warning that it could be because less people are coming forward to report them.
Heart has found out that in 2009 there were 99 reports of incidents in county, compared to 89 in 2010.
It's differs from other crimes because it involves families or large communities.
Michelle Hargrave deals with policy relating to honour based violence and domestic based at Hertfordshire Constabulary:
“It is know nationally that people are often frightened come forward, they are extremely vulnerable and it is difficult step for them to take because it could well mean that would have to move away from, not only their family, but often their community aswel.”
Honour based violence is often described a crime which is committed to defence the honour of a family of community, and involves harassment, assault, attempted murder, murder and rape.
“It is misconceived notions of culture and sometimes misconceptions of religion but it does affect ALL different cultures and communities; that can be south Asian communities, African communities and it also does affect the travelling community,” explains Michelle.
She continued to tell Heart that honour based violence, which includes forced marriages, doesn’t just affect women:
“There are male victims aswel. At the forced marriage unit about 15% perfect of their calls are from male victims. But often where there is a male victim, there is some connection to a female.”