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Police help create play to spot signs of honour-based abuse

GREATER MANCHESTER Police have engaged a team of consultants and performers to work with schools to create a play to help educate and raise awareness about honour-based abuse .

Corporate services co-ordinators, Contact Creative Experts, were commissioned to create Not in my Honour, which explores practices that can include forced marriage as well as dowry abuse, child marriage and many other types of abuse.

Referred to as ‘honour-based abuse’, these practices cut across all cultures, nationalities, faith groups and communities and transcend national and international boundaries.

Working with around 20 pupils from two schools - Levenshulme High and Manchester Grammar - Contact’s Creative Experts have created the play to be used as a teaching resource for teachers across the country.

Ten scenes long, the play can be studied as a whole or in sections.

Suzie Henderson, Head of Creative Development at Contact said: “We’re delighted to have worked with Greater Manchester Police on this really pressing and important project. It is a great example of how Contact’s Creative Experts, our brilliant team of young facilitators, can help other organisations empower young people by using a creative approach.

“Not in my Honour will be a fantastic resource for schools and I can’t wait to see the pupils perform the play.”

This type of abuse can be used to control behaviour within families to protect perceived cultural and religious beliefs and/or ‘honour’. This can lead to violence when it is felt that an individual has broken the ‘honour’ code and brought shame on their family or community by way of their actions.

GMP works to tackle and raise awareness of different types of honour based abuse including holding events at the airport to raise awareness of Female Genital Mutilation, marking a remembrance day for victims of honour based abuse and taking part in a Channel 4 documentary on forced marriage.

Assistant Chief Constable Rob Potts from GMP said: “This is an invaluable resource to enable schools to educate pupils on honour based abuse, how to spot the signs and what support is available.

“Honour based abuse affects people in many different cultures and all types of society and it’s important that everyone stands up to these abhorrent practices in all of their forms – from physical and mental abuse to forced marriage and female genital mutilation. There’s still a lot of work to be done in our aim to protect people from honour based abuse, but steps like this one help us encourage victims to come forward so that we can all dishonour the crime.”

Now that the play has been launched, the script and other materials will be placed on the Home Office website for anyone wishing to use it to download for free.

Greater Manchester Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd said: “Through awareness and understanding, and by talking openly with our young people about honour-based abuse, we will shine a light on this hidden crime, giving hope and reassurance to victims that there is a way out and the authorities and support services are there for them.

“This play is part of a wealth of work across Greater Manchester to raise awareness of this issue and encourage people to speak out, confident that that they will be taken seriously and protected - a legacy to the men and women who have tragically lost their lives at the hands of a loved one.”

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