Catherine West – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Home Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Catherine West on 2016-09-13.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to prevent the practice of breast ironing.

Mr Robert Goodwill

This Government is clear that political or cultural sensitivities must not get in the way of preventing and uncovering so-called ‘honour-based’ violence (HBV) in all its forms, including ‘breast ironing’. No one should suffer because of who they are or which community they are born into.

As set out in the Government’s new Violence against Women and Girls Strategy, we will continue to challenge the cultural attitudes that may underpin harmful practices, and ensure that professionals have the confidence to confront these issues to safeguard victims and bring perpetrators to justice.

Figures on ‘breast ironing’ are not collated centrally. Where ‘breast ironing’ is practised on girls it is child abuse and a crime, and should be treated as such by all frontline professionals. Statutory guidance for local authorities and others on how to safeguard children can be found in ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/419595/Working_Together_to_Safeguard_Children.pdf