There have been few more chilling news stories recently than the ‘honour’ killing of Shafilea Ahmed in 2003. Suffocated by a plastic bag stuffed into her mouth, the 17-year old was murdered by her parents, in front of her young siblings.
It is this real life horror story that inspired Cosmopolitan’s limited edition February cover. The wraparound plastic sleeve smothers an image of a woman asphyxiating. It’s a shock tactic to raise awareness of honour-based abuse, with the aim of creating an annual day in memory of its predominately female victims. That’s 5,000 reported worldwide, 12 from the UK.
Killed or violently abused for bringing perceived shame to their families, this type of abuse also includes forcing a woman into marriage, often the catalyst for the cruelty to begin.
To see an end to it, get involved at #britainslostwomen and check out the petition on www.change.org to establish a day of remembrance worthy of the young women who lose their lives at the hands of their loved ones.