Information about Honour Based Violence
What is honour based violence?
Honour based violence is violence towards somebody who is seen to have broken the honour code of a family or community. Breaking the honour code could include:
- dressing in what is seen to be an inappropriate way
- having a boyfriend/girlfriend
- kissing/intimacy in a public place
- rejecting a marriage proposal
- becoming pregnant outside of marriage
- using drugs or alcohol
- being Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or Tran gendered
- not practising your religion
- any other behaviour that is not deemed acceptable by the family/community
A victim may be accused of having shamed the family or destroyed their reputation within their community. Punishment may include:
- verbal threats
- physical violence
- sexual abuse
- forced abortion
- forced marriage
- abandonment overseas
Who is affected?
Honour based violence is mainly directed by men towards women. However, men can also be affected, for example if they are believed to be supporting the victim, are involved in what is seen to be an inappropriate relationship or if they are gay or transgendred.
What to do if you think you or someone you know may be a victim
If you feel you are at risk of honour based violence, the best thing to do is to contact one of the organisations listed below
If you are in immediate danger please call 999.
If you think that someone you know may be a victim, please contact one of the organisations listed below.
Do not directly confront the family or speak with the victim in their presence as this may make things worse.
Honour based violence is not a cultural or religious practice and is never right or acceptable.
What the law says
There is no specific law on honour based violence. All cases will be prosecuted under criminal law according to each specific offence that has been committed, for example assault, kidnap, rape, murder etc.
Civil Law can be used to protect yourself from risk of violence. Some of the remedies that can be used are interdicts, non harassment orders. You will need to contact a civil family lawyer for advice.
Honour Network Helpline
0800 5999 247
0113 218 0114
Iranian & Kurdish Womens Rights Organisation
0207 920 6460
Hemat Gryffe Womens Aid
0141 353 0859
Shakti Womens Aid
0131 475 2399
Scotland Domestic Abuse Helpline
0800 027 1234
We would like to thank Shakti Womens Aid for developing this resource in partnerhip.