Forced marriage helpline closes

19 NOV 2009

A national helpline for victims of forced marriage and honour-based violence has closed after its funding was cut.

The dedicated helpline, called the 'Honour Network', was run by the charity Karma Nirvana, which helps survivors of honour crimes and forced marriages.

The government's Forced Marriage Unit gave the charity £43,000 to open the helpline in April 2008. By the end of September 2009 it had received a total of 6,702 calls.

Despite the charity's plea to the government for support, the funding ran out a year later and donations were insufficient to cover costs.

The Home Office was virtuous when the helpline was launched last year. At the time, Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker said: "We are determined across government to continue engaging with local communities and taking action to protect victims to put an end to this appalling practice."

However, a Home Office spokesperson was not able to comment on the issue when contacted by Newswatch yesterday.

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