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'Honor' crimes on rise in Britain

LONDON, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- Attacks on women in the name of family honor are increasing rapidly in Britain, police statistics show.

The Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organization obtained information from police agencies that track "honor killings" and assaults, kidnappings and threats designed to punish or coerce women, The Guardian reported. The group said 2,823 incidents were reported by 39 police forces in 2010, and it estimates about 500 more occurred in the jurisdictions of 12 that did not have data.

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There were 12 departments that had information for both 2009 and 2010, with the total rising from 938 to 1,381 during the year. In London, reported honor crimes more than doubled from 235 in 2009 to 495 in 2010, while in the Greater Manchester district the number went from 105 to 189.

Fionnuala Ni Mhurchu, the organization's campaign officer, said there may be a number of reasons for the increase. Police are becoming more aware of honor crimes while young women from traditional communities are less accepting of old practices.

"They're resisting abuses of their human rights such as forced marriage more and more," she said. "And as a result they're being subjected to this kind of violence. We hear from the community that this violence is on the increase."

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