Abuse! There’s no excuse.

Because I am transsexual I have experienced hate before.

PMandy Wattsrevious incidents deeply hurt me at the time. And I felt that I wasn’t taken seriously when I reported it. It meant that I wasn’t confident in reporting other incidents.

But one day last year was different – this was a direct in my face incident.

I was supporting someone with a learning disability to go to the dentist and as we were about to leave the surgery car park we got blocked in by another car.

I beeped the horn to let them know we were trying to leave.

What happened next was truly shocking!

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Nowhere else to turn

Front line officers are our eyes and ears on the ground. They can recognise signs of honour based abuse and forced marriage when they attend jobs and then refer them to our team – a small division in the domestic abuse safeguarding and investigation unit at Bedfordshire Police.nowwhere-else-to-run

I receive an email from an officer telling me she had been to see a young girl who had found out she was pregnant.

Like many young girls finding out they are pregnant, she was scared. But she was scared for reasons most girls could never imagine.

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No honour in abuse

Detective Sergeant Elaine Cook has been a police officer for 23 years. Having worked in child protection, serious crime and intelligence she was promoted in February to Sergeant and now manages the Domestic Abuse unit in the south of the county as well as the Honour Based Abuse (HBA) unit. 

Forced Marriage PosterIt’s the weekend. The start of my long seven day week. I am generally in the office by 7:15 am to find out what has happened overnight and to see if there is anything urgent to deal with.

This morning we have an honour-based domestic incident. A young woman has called police reporting she has been assaulted by her brother.  Her family had found out that she has been in a secret relationship with a man and they do not approve.

Our priority is the safety of the girl and we arrange a safe place for her to spend the night. She is shaken, but supportive of our action.

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