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Officer celebrating top award as force marks International Women’s Day

8 Mar 2018

Esther Carroll, one of our officers, was given the ‘True Honour’ award last night (Wednesday) by the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO) for her work with victims of honour based violence.

At a ceremony in London, Esther was named the overall winner of the awards, which recognise a person or organisation that has taken a stand against honour based violence, whether in their personal lives or in their work.

For the last 12 years, Esther has specialised in safeguarding victims of forced marriage and honour based abuse and has obtained several forced marriage protection orders. She often works with victims from the moment they come into contact with the force, driving them to places of safety and applying for funds to ensure they can live independent of their abusers.

Esther said: “It is so unexpected to win this award, especially to have been nominated by Lucky Begum from the All Women’s Centre in Luton. I have worked with some very brave women and I hope I have made a difference to their lives.”

Esther has trained judges and judiciaries in understanding honour based abuse and the importance of forced marriage protection orders. She was invited to speak at the 2014 Girl Summit by then Prime Minister David Cameron and has recently worked with the Government’s Forced Marriage Unit.

Chief Inspector Jacqueline Whittred, who leads the force’s response to honour based abuse, said: “We are hugely proud of Esther for winning this award. It is really poignant to be celebrating her success on International Women’s Day (IWD), as she has helped so many women in often desperate situations. Honour based violence is an extremely sensitive area to police and Esther’s approach and experience in this area is exactly what is needed.”

Today we, alongside Hertfordshire Police and Cambridgeshire Constabulary, is hosting a conference of workshops and talks for staff on this year’s IWD theme of ‘Press for Progress’. Assistant Chief Constable Jackie Sebire is opening the conference at Wyboston Lakes and will be relaunching the force’s Women’s Network Group. More than 100 staff attended last year’s conference on IWD and you can follow the day’s events on the force’s Twitter account.

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