Friday, April 18, 2014

[525] Brutal horror of ‘honor violence’ exposed in documentary at MTSU April 23

MURFREESBORO — Inspired by the Arab Spring, women are beginning to speak out about an ongoing legacy of oppression.

“Honor Diaries,” a documentary that expresses these women’s anguish, will be screened at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 23, in the State Farm Lecture Hall of MTSU’s Business and Aerospace Building.

The hourlong film focuses on so-called “honor violence,” which targets mostly women who have violated cultural norms, therefore “dishonoring” their families. Some rape victims have been murdered because they are considered to have brought dishonor on their families.

“Honor Diaries” features nine courageous women’s rights advocates who are engaged in a dialogue about gender inequality, according to the movie’s website,

Honor violence is most widely reported in the Middle East and south Asia, and it also has been reported in Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, India, Sweden and the United States.

Victims have been shot, stoned, burned, buried alive, strangled, smothered or stabbed by their own husbands, fathers or brothers in the name of restoring “honor.” Other forms of honor violence documented in the film include forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

“This film is a wonderful format to encourage and inspire some discussion regarding this very important global issue,” said Dr. David Schmidt, vice provost for international affairs. “It has already created a discussion nationally, and I am pleased we have the opportunity to screen this film at MTSU.”

According to the United Nations, there are 5,000 honor killings reported around the world every year.

A report by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe states that honor violence is based on the belief that women are the property of male relatives. Men are rarely penalized, and they receive reduced sentences in the rare situations in which law enforcement intervenes.

“Honor Diaries” was an official selection of the Chicago International Film Festival in 2013 and winner of Best Documentary honors in the Interfaith Awards category at the 2013 St. Louis International Film Festival.

This event, which is free and open to the public, is presented by the MTSU Office of International Affairs. A searchable campus map with parking details is available at

For more information on the event, contact Schmidt at 615-898-2116 or

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