South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has condemned honour based violence and forced marriage - warning they will not be tolerated in the county.
He spoke out on the annual ‘day of memory’ for victims of honour based violence and forced marriage, which is organised by Karma Nirvana - a UK charity supporting victims.
Honour based violence is carried out to protect the honour of a family or community when a family member is seen to break the rules of their culture by starting a friendship with somebody their relatives do not approve of or if they refuse to enter into a forced marriage.
Dr Billings said: “Nobody should be made to suffer in any way at the hands of another.
“Violence on any person is abhorrent, but to understand that family members put their own status in the community before the welfare of their children and loved ones is very difficult to comprehend.
“Protecting vulnerable people is a key priority in my police and crime plan and I will work closely with South Yorkshire Police to ensure that everyone in South Yorkshire has the
protection they deserve to keep them safe.
“I fully appreciate the diversity of South Yorkshire and embrace the cultures living within our communities in harmony. I will however not tolerate anyone using their own cultural beliefs as an excuse to break the law.
“Nobody should be made to suffer in any way at the hands of another.
“Forced marriage and honour based violence are a crime here in the United Kingdom and anyone found to be inflicting pain will be brought to justice.”