'Honor' violence happening around Phoenix areaPosted: Updated:
By Mike Gertzman
PHOENIX -- Noor Almaleki's murder caught the attention of the country and the heart of Detective Chris Boughey with the Peoria Police Department.
“She didn't have an advocate. She didn't have someone to stand up for her. No one was on her side,” said Boughey.
Almaleki, 20 was killed by her Iraqi father, Faleh Hassan Almaleki in 2009.
Her crime: she was too westernized, not living by her family's cultural values.
Since Almaleki's death, Boughey has seen an uptick in honor violence, including forced marriages to help rid a woman of shameful behavior, including dating.
“What we're seeing more is the verbal threats. The threats of ‘we're sending you back to your home country, country of origin,’ threatening to force them into an arranged marriage,” said Boughey.
According to Boughey, the Phoenix area has the fourth largest Muslim population in the country.
Many girls facing honor violence are first generation Americans who are resisting cultural traditions.
“All of them, what we found are outstanding students good citizens wanting to work and contribute and because of that they're abused, forced out of the country, forced to marry people they don't want to marry, and in some cases murdered,” said Boughey.
Valley law enforcement officers from around the country spent Tuesday with organizers of the AHA Foundation learning how to recognize signs of this type of abuse, which is not always physical, and makes it hard to charge a family member with a crime.
“Once they put their hands on somebody, once they make a valid threat then obviously we can make a case on these folks,” said Boughey. The detective went on to say most of the cases can be prevented.
Almaleki's father is currently serving 34.5 years in prison for killing his daughter.