Friday, February 22, 2008

Honour-Related Violence Increases in Finland

Immigrant women's organisation supports victims of violence

Young immigrant women who have lived in Finland for a number of years, are most likely to face conflicts between norms of Finnish society and their own culture. Women like these are the ones that most frequently contact Monika - Naiset liitto, a multicultural organisation set up ten years ago to help immigrant women and children who face domestic violence, says Reet Nurmi, the organisation's executive director.

Nurmi defines honour-related violence as actions perpetrated by those who feel that a woman's behaviour has hurt the honour of her husband or family. There are no precise figures on the frequency of the problem. Monika-Naiset was contacted 28 times last year over alleged honour-related violence.

According to the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare, domestic conflicts involving issues of honour have emerged among immigrants from countries such as Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Afghanistan. Reet Nurmi says that the police do not always know how to investigate the cultural factors behind acts of violence.

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