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      Who's policing whom? A look into the policing responses to harmful practices and the role of civic society

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            Abstract

            The United Nations defines harmful practices as: ‘… persistent practices and behaviours grounded on discrimination on the basis of sex, gender and age and other grounds as well as multiple and/or intersecting forms of discrimination that often involve violence and cause physical and/or psychological harm or suffering’. They are commonly perceived to be based on tradition, culture, custom and practice, religion and/or superstition, and in certain communities and societies these practices have been established for so long that they are considered or perceived to be part of accepted cultural norms. Where they have gone unchallenged for multiple generations, they have become ‘normalised’, which often makes it difficult to make the distinction between cultural/traditional norms and enforced harmful and controlling behaviour. Examples of harmful practices include, but are not limited to, female genital mutilation, honour-based abuse, forced marriage, dowry violence and abuse linked to faith and belief, such as witchcraft, possessions and breast ironing – all of which are practiced and are prevalent in the UK today. The focus of this paper is honour based abuse (HBA), which is often applied as a precursor to other harmful practices and which lends itself to highlighting the intersectionality of this largely gendered practice. The role of affected communities is explored, as is how this can lead to a culture of self-policing. A panoptic framework is adopted before conclusions are drawn as to the future of policing in addressing these hidden harms. The aim of this paper is not to provide a comprehensive critical analysis of policing responses to an ever evolving and highly complex crime type, nor is it to present all BAME women and communities as a homogeneous group, but rather to further explore some of the key concepts that arose from discussions and which may go some way to understanding hidden harms that exist in relation to honour and shame.

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            Contributors
            Journal
            10.2307/j50018794
            jglobfaul
            Journal of Global Faultlines
            Pluto Journals
            2397-7825
            2054-2089
            1 May 2021
            : 8
            : 1 ( doiID: 10.13169/jglobfaul.8.issue-1 )
            : 81-90
            Affiliations
            Polly Harrar is Founder of The Sharan Project, a registered charity (England and Wales) supporting South Asian Women in the UK who have been affected by abuse or persecution, including forced marriage, honour abuse, dowry violence, domestic abuse, disownment and cultural conflict. As a strategic leader, she is the joint Chair of the London Harmful Practices Group led by the Metropolitan Police, member of the Home Office National Oversight Group and the Forced Marriage Partnership Board within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Home Office, and an advisory member for the Women's Interfaith Network. She is a recognised Expert Witness on forced marriage and honour based abuse and has an extensive understanding of the wide range of harmful practices faced by BAME women and children, and can regularly be heard speaking on these matters at a national and local level and through mainstream media. Polly.Harrar@ 123456sharan.org.uk
            Article
            jglobfaul.8.1.0081
            10.13169/jglobfaul.8.1.0081
            84cd92ad-0be0-48a5-9a31-bcd1bf52093e
            This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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            History
            Custom metadata
            eng

            Social & Behavioral Sciences

            References

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            3. Bowling, B., Parmar, A. and Phillips, C. (2003) Policing Ethnic Minority Communities. In Newburn, T. (ed.) Handbook of policing. Willan Publishing: Devon, UK, pp. 528–555.

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