Day of Memory, 14th July 2017

A flight ticket with the message "Not all holidays are a holiday".The annual day of rememberance is held each year on July 14th to remember those lost to honour killings. Where some families feel dishonoured, shamed and choose to forget, Karma Nirvana remembers and celebrate victim’s lives.

The Day of Memory was inspired by Bradford-born Shafilea Ahmed who was murdered by her parents in 2003 after suffering years of abuse for becoming ‘too westernised’.  There are an estimated 12 honour killings each year in the UK although the exact number is unknown.

“In almost 25 years of campaigning I have rarely heard from families or communities speaking out against the horror of honour killings, so who remembers the victims?  Each year on July 14th we do. We celebrate victim’s lives and remember them as the most honourable of beings.” Jasvinder Sanghera CBE

The 2017 Day of Memory was held in conjunction with the West Yorkshire Police Crime Commissioner and Leeds City Council. 200 guests heard from experts and survivors and learnt how local and national partners were tackling honour-based abuse and what they were doing to prevent further honour killings in Britain.

Speakers included:

  • Karma Nirvana founder and author, Jasvinder Sanghera CBE
  • Vulnerability, Safeguarding and Countering Extremism, Sarah Newton MP
  • West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson
  • Leeds Divisional Commander, Paul Money
  • Leeds City Council’s Executive Member for Communities, Debra Coupar
  • The principal of the Co-op Academy Leeds, Jonny Mitchell.
  • BBC Asian Network presenter, Bobby Friction

Male and female survivors shared their experiences on the day and explained how the emotional and physical abuse of honour crimes can quickly escalate to disownment and ultimately murder.

Leeds City Council signed a pledge to become a beacon of best practice on this issue and it is hoped other councils will follow suit.

National awareness was raised as many partners hosted events across the UK including but not limited to: West Yorkshire Police, West Midlands Police, Surrey Police, Merseyside Police, and Thames Valley Police. As well as Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust, NHS England North Region, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Groups Partnership and Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

We asked people to share our ‘Not All Holidays Are A Holiday’ logo (above). and use the hashtags: #WeRemember #DayofMemory

To see photos from the day please see our facebook or Instagram links.