A PETITION inspired by Great Sankey school girl Shafilea Ahmed for a memorial day for those who have died from honour-based violence is closing in on 100,000 signatures.
An initial petition addressing the Prime Minister gained more than 90,000 in three weeks but charity Karma Nirvana have now ‘upped the pressure’ by creating a second petition calling on the home secretary to grant the memorial day on Shafilea’s birthday in July.
The growing support for campaign has been particularly poignant this week as the law changed on Monday making forced marriage a crime.
Charity founder Jasvinder Sanghera said the change has come at a crucial time before the summer holidays when many schoolchildren are told they are going on holiday and then forced into a marriage.
She added: “This is an opportunity to remember victims like Shafilea creating a lasting legacy and we would also like to lay a memorial stone with names of other victims on it.
“As a campaigner from a charity dealing with 820 calls a month, I’m really pleased to know lots of people out there feel the same way as we do.
“Shafilea was a bright girl with aspirations and everything to live for and people feel the same injustice I do.”
Jasvinder, who is still asking the safeguarding board in Warrington for a serious case review, has been using Shafilea’s story in a series of 21 Karma Nirvana roadshows dedicated to her memory across the country to an audience of more than 10,000 people so far.
The charity have also been training police officers ahead of the law change which could see anyone caught forcing somebody to marry face a seven-year prison sentence.
Jasvinder added: “We hope Cheshire police take up our offer of training soon and we want to help victims report it as when it’s your family you’re made to feel like you’re the perpetrator which I can say from personal experience.”
For more information visit karmanirvana.org.uk and to sign the petition visit change.org and search for Shafilea Ahmed.