British kids to be taught about domestic violence, forced marriages

June 13th, 2008 - 12:21 pm ICT by ANI  

London, June 13 (ANI): British children as young as five must be taught about the evils of domestic violence and forced marriages, MPs have said. A hard-hitting report demands a nationwide crusade against violence in the home.

Members of the all-party Home Affairs Select Committee say they are alarmed that some schools refuse to discuss honour crimes for fear of offending ethnic minorities, The Telegraph reported.

They urge all schools to teach pupils that abuse of women in the name of religion or family pride is wrong.

And they call for more emergency accommodation and places of refuge for victims of domestic violence, which is said to be the leading cause of death worldwide for women aged between 19 and 44.

The MPs also called for more safe houses and refuges for victims.

We educate our young about drugs and road safety but not about domestic violence and forced marriage - which will affect a quarter of all women in their lifetime, said Chairman Keith Vaz said.

We need a shift in focus from the criminal justice system - which only a tiny proportion of all cases ever reach - towards education, prevention and early intervention, he added.

It is estimated domestic violence costs the 25.3billion pounds.

In a new report, the MPs say domestic violence leads to the deaths of two women in Britain every week, but the true scale of forced marriages and honour killings is unknown.

A separate study out on Thursday claimed that more than 70 per cent of marriages in the Muslim community, which involve a foreign spouse, are forced.

The Muslim Arbitration Tribunal said police currently know of 300 forced marriages but the true figure is in the thousands. (ANI)

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