'Honour violence' called prevalent in Calgary
Social agencies in Calgary say so-called honour violence is prevalent in Calgary.
That's the kind of cultural violence that is carried out by family members — often men — on women or children who reject religious and cultural traditions.
Didem Erman, who counsels young girls at the Calgary Immigrant Woman's Association, says about a quarter of her clients have experienced this type of violence.
"It was quite shocking and it was quite surprising. You really feel for these girls and you really want to be able to support them," she said.
Girls are typically abused by parents who interpret a child’s successful adjustment to Canadian cultural ways as shameful, Erman said.
"There is violence and girls are afraid," she said.
Erman says few of her young clients escape the abuse by leaving home.
That’s because the only thing scarier than being abused is the family abandonment that can follow complaining about it, she said.
Murtuza Syed says his Imam marries one couple per week, but divorces two — many because of violence.
Syed blames men for misinterpreting the Qur'an.
"The Prophet said the best are the ones who are good to your wives," he said.