Honor violence under-estimated

According to experts interviewed by Knack magazine, thousands of women and girls in Belgium deal with honor-related violence. Commissioner Marc Van de Plas of the federal police cites 17 honor murders in the last five years in Belgium, notwithstanding the so many other forms of honor-violence: abuse, confinement, kidnapping, forced marriage, etc… Immigrant women are also making up an increasing percentage of women in women’s shelters; in 2006, immigrants accounted for 44% of the women in shelters in Flanders – not including their children. Clinics in Genk and at Ghent University also report the popularity of hymen reconstruction surgeries, with around 30 performed at each facility each year.