HONOUR CRIME AND CHILD/YOUTH PROTECTION
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Honour Crime and child protection intervention
HONOUR CRIMEAND CHILD/YOUTH PROTECTION
IT DOES HAPPEN HERE!
JUNE 30TH, 2009
Mohammed, Tooba and Hamed Shafir
Hamed on honour
Traditions and customs are to be followed till the end of ones life, It doesnt matter at all whether your close to the community following the specic traditions or living millions of miles away. Traditions and customs of a person is like his identity and what makes him special.
"For us, the concept of honour killing has always existed, but not in Quebec," she said. "We didn't count it among the possible threats to children.
Michelle Dionne of the Centre de jeunesse
The Crown Prosecution Service in Great Britain describes the concept as follows:
Honour based violence is a crime or incident which has or may have been committed to protect of defend the honour of the family and/or community.
It is a collection of practices which are used to control behaviour within families or other social groups to protect perceived cultural and religious belief and/or honour. It is used to assert male power in order to control female autonomy and sexuality.
Mohammed Shafir on honour
Even if they lift me to the gallows, nothing is more dear to me than my honour
JUDGE ROBERT MARANGERThe sentencing JudgeAfter the convictions:
the evidence substantially supported the verdicts and that the killers have no claim of honour.
It is difficult to conceive of a more despicable, more heinous, more honourless crime.
"The apparent reason behind these cold-blooded, shameful murders was that the four completely innocent victims offended your completely twisted concept of honour . . . that has absolutely no place in any civilized society."
June 2007: Family arrives in Canada after leaving Afghanistan in1992 and living thereafter sequentially in Pakistan, Dubai, Australia. (Rona arrives November 2007)
February 2008: Zainab is discovered by Hamed to have a boy friend at school. She is taken out of school.
Spring 2008: Rona, 52 begins calling U.S. based Women for Afghan Women, saying she is being beaten by her husband
May 2008: Sahar 16 tells vice principal that her brother Hamed assaulted her. She also admits attempting suicide 10 days earlier. Anglophone (English) Child protection services are called.
February 2009: School authorities threaten to call child protection again if girls attendance does not improve. It does, for two months.
April 2009: Zainab 18 flees to womens shelter, where she is classified as a victim of domestic violence.
At the same time, Neighbours call police to say the other two daughters are afraid of their fathers reaction. Francophone (French) Child protection services and police are called.
May 2009: Geeti 13 begged teacher to get her removed from the home and asks to be placed with a foster family.
June 2009: School calls child protection after Sahar discloses she is afraid her father will beat her because he has found out she is dating a boy. Child protection is again called.
June 30, 2009: The four are found dead in the submerged car.
July 21, 2009: Three surviving children of family apprehended by child protection services.
January 2012: The father, mother and oldest brother are convicted of first degree murder of the girls and Rona.
Minister for Status of Women for the Government of Canada stated:
that honour killings are a reality in Canada
I think (the Shafia) trial in particular was a wake-up call to a lot of people that thought honour-motivated violence doesn't exist in Canada
"It sends a message that this is real. We need to educate prosecutors, we need to educate police officers, social workers so they understand what this is about.
What needs to be done:
These women were aware of the threat to their lives and they reached out
but nobody listened,
said Shahzrad Mojab, a University of Toronto professor who testified as an expert witness at the Shafia trial.
Dr. Mojab pointed to Britain and Sweden as leaders in developing strategies for dealing with violence stemming from a patriarchal need for control. Training materials such as video clips showing abuse scenarios have been used extensively with police forces and schools. Its time they were widely adopted in Canada she said.
A Risk Assessment Instrument
Factors increasing risk: