‘Honour’ Based Abuse

‘Honour’ based abuse (HBA) is a form of abuse which is perpetrated in the name of so called ‘honour’. Those at risk of ‘honour’ based abuse are often told that they have brought “shame” on their family or community and so they must be punished, with the ultimate punishment being death, or so-called ‘honour’ killings.

‘Honour’ killings relate to the act of murder carried out by family members or through agreement with the wider community. There is often a collective nature to the crime, with the decision taken to undertake the ‘honour’ killing being made by a number of people.

Examples of supposed shameful behaviour include:

  • Having a boyfriend
  • Being in a homosexual relationship
  • Rejecting a forced marriage
  • Pregnancy outside of marriage
  • Interfaith relationships
  • Seeking divorce
  • Inappropriate dress or make-up

Although HBA often has underlying sub context of male domination, it is not carried out by men only. Often female relatives will support, incite or assist. It is also not unusual for younger relatives to be selected to undertake the abuse as a way to protect senior members of the family.

The ‘silent’ practice of ‘honour’ based abuse that takes place behind closed doors across the UK is so hidden that many may feel “it can’t happen here”. However UK-wide, the number of cases of ‘honour’ based abuse, forced marriage and FGM reported to the police has increased by 53% since 2014.

During 2010-2014 there were 11,000 incidences of ‘honour’ crime recorded by UK police ranging from forced marriage to FGM. There were 18 recorded cases of ‘honour’ killings in the UK over the same period.

There are an estimated 12-15 ‘honour’ killings every year in the UK.

We are here to support and advise you, you can contact us on 0800 107 0726.

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