MOURNERS gathered in the street where Geeta Aulakh was brutally murdered in order to mark the first anniversary of her death.
Candles were lit, flowers were laid and prayers were spoken during the vigil in Braund Avenue, Greenford, which drew around 50 mourners. Many stood in silence as they remembered what the 28-year-old meant to them.
It was held on the evening of November 16 but details could not be reported until now for legal reasons.
It was organised by Geeta Aulak's family, who have been supported by the Southall Black Sisters (SBS), an organisation which tackles domestic and other gender-related violence within minority communities in the UK.
SBS spokeswoman Shakila Maan said: “It was about keeping her memory alive but also about confronting the location she was killed. Especially when someone is taken away in a brutal way it is very difficult to deal with, knowing that they weren't able to help her in that place, it was important for them to mark that year there.
“It was also important for it to be a public event, for the community to see and be reminded of what happened, not for it to be swept under the carpet.”
Ms Maan said a lot more needed to be done to raise awareness and ultimately crack-down on the crime, as well as support victims who are often too fearful to come forward to the police despite years of abuse.
She criticised community leaders for not speaking out following the conviction and added: “We hope this outcome sends out a clear message to all communities that violence against women cannot and must not be tolerated and that women should not suffer in silence whoever they are and whatever their background.
“Asian and other minority communities in Ealing should hang their heads in shame because of the high incidence of domestic violence; honour based violence and forced marriage that is tolerated in the name of culture and religion.”