Friday, March 14, 2008

More Victims of Honour Violence in Finland Seek Help

Young girls in Finland have been found to live in fear of religiously motivated honour violence. Girls as young as 16 are seeking shelter fearing violence and arranged marriages. Suspicious accidents have also been reported. Such problems have been reported in several religious communities.

The Turku Women's Centre has helped women seeking help from violence stemming from violations of religious codes. Imams and other individual Muslims are working together to fight the violence. Raija Ala-Lipasti, executive director of the Turku Women's Centre says that in some cases, women have had to flee the city to escape the wrath of fathers and brothers.

She says that in addition to violence, girls and young women are afraid of being compelled into arranged marriages against their will. Arranged marriages are often attempted when a girl has found a boyfriend outside her ethnic or religious community. Using make-up, staying out late, or dressing can also be seen as violations of honour codes.

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