Muslim agency targets ‘honor related’ domestic violence

Muslim agency targets ‘honor related’ domestic violence

(January 24, 2012) – A London, Ontario based Muslim agency announced today that it is launching a project that targets “honor related” domestic violence.

The Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support and Integration (MRC) which helped develop the Call to Action to Eradicate Domestic Violence statement recently issued by Canadian Muslim organizations is starting the Family Honour Project.

“If you have effective strategies for identifying the risk factors of so-called honor-related violence, you can reduce the possibility of honor killing,” Mohammed Baobaid, Executive Director of MRC, told The Globe and Mail.

The model for the project is the CeaseFire Project of Chicago, Illinois, which has been working with street gangs for 11 years to prevent violence before it occurs.

“CeaseFire is a unique, interdisciplinary, public health approach to violence prevention,” MRC said in its press release. “The model prevents violence using a three-prong approach: identification and detection; interruption, intervention and risk reduction; and, changing behavior and norms.”

MRC will start with a focus on the Muslim Community in the London area, but intends to share its experience with communities across the province in the near future.

The program comes amid a high-profile trial taking place in Kingston, Ontario, in which Afghan-born Mohammad Shafia, 58, his wife, and their 21-year-old son were accused by the prosecution of “honor killings” in the death of his first wife and three daughters.

The project is a data-driven model that uses a combination of statistical information and knowledge of the community to determine where to concentrate efforts, focus resources, and intervene in violence.

The Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women and Children, Faculty of Education, The University of Western Ontario, will be a research partner in the initiative.

“We know this will be viewed as somewhat controversial in our community,” Saleha Khan, a board member for the resource centre, told the London Free Press.