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Friday the 14th of July has been designated the first National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Honour Based Violence.

Why the 14th July? This date has been chosen as it marks the birthday of Shafilea Ahmed who was sadly murdered in Warrington in 2003 by her parents in an honour based killing. Shafilea was born in Bradford.

In February 2003 Shafilea was drugged and taken to Pakistan to be forced into a marriage. Shafilea resisted and self-harmed. She got sicker as she remained in Pakistan and her parents returned to the UK. Shafilea was left with extended family in Pakistan.

Shafilea was just 17 when she returned to the UK. She was taken to hospital as she was still very sick.

A week after enrolling at college Shafilea was horrifically murdered by her parents in front of her four younger siblings. Her parents strangled and smothered her resulting in her death.

Shafilea did not want to be forced into marriage and due to her resistance was sadly killed by her parents.

What is a forced marriage?

A forced marriage differs from an arranged marriage, in which both parties consent to the assistance of their parents or a third party (commonly a family member/friend) identifying a husband or wife for them. If one party says no and/or expresses no wish to marry then this then becomes a forced marriage.

A reluctance to enter Into a marriage arranged by parents or other family members can at times result in honour based violence occurring. This difficult area is recognised here at Ramsdens and is approached with care and sensitivity.

What can be done?

An Order known as a Forced Marriage Protection Order can be obtained from the Court if you or someone else is being threatened with a forced marriage or you have already been forced into marriage.

At Ramsdens, we have a team of specialist trained family law Solicitors that can help you obtain the protection that you or someone that you might know needs.

Call our Family Helpline on 08000 147720, email or text LAW to 67777 to book a free thirty minute consultation at any of our offices across West Yorkshire to discuss matters in a confidential manner or to obtain further information. We also offer early morning and late evening appointments across our offices.

We also offer urgent same day appointments as it may be necessary for you to meet with one of our team the same day as you make an enquiry.