What is honour-based violence?
Honour-based violence is the term used to describe violent or threatening behaviour which is committed to protect or defend perceived cultural beliefs or the “honour “of the family. Honour-based violence is unacceptable behaviour and is illegal. Some of those committing honour-based violence mistakenly believe someone has brought shame on their family or community by doing something against traditional beliefs or culture.
Honour based abuse is unacceptable and illegal. Some of those committing this crime mistakenly believe someone has brought shame on their family or community by doing something against traditional beliefs or culture.
This can include:-
Having a relationship with someone from a different culture or religion
Wanting to leave or avoid a forced marriage
Wearing clothes or taking part in activities not considered traditional within a culture
Signs of honour based abuse
Men and women are at risk of honour based abuse, which encompasses a range of offences, including murder, rape, assault, abduction and domestic abuse. Warning signs can include:
Lengthy or repeated absence from school
Decline in academic performance
Depression, anxiety, self-harm, substance misuse, suicidal thoughts
Poor attendance at work, drop in performance, failure to turn up for business trips
Restrictions on friends, disapproval of adopting ‘western’ clothing and make-up.
If you or someone you know is suffering from honour-based abuse, please contact police or one of the supporting agencies listed on this page.
How do I report it?
Bedfordshire Police takes reports of honour based abuse very seriously and all officers are trained to do everything possible to safeguard victims. If you contact them they will:
Arrange to see you in a secure and private place
Recognise and respect your wishes
Ensure everything you speak to us about is confidential and will not be disclosed to anyone
Take action to protect you
Provide you with support.
In an emergency, always dial 999.
1. ACCM (UK)
ACCM is a Bedfordshire-based charity working to support victims of illegal harmful practices such as female genital mutilation and honour-based abuse among Black, Asian, minority ethnic and other disadvantaged communities
2. Luton All Women's Centre
The Domestic Abuse Service supports vulnerable women who are experiencing domestic abuse, or have suffered it in the past, in Luton and Bedfordshire as a whole. Alongside individual casework, you can access specialist support groups and receive bespoke packages of wraparound care.
Crimestoppers is an independent charity helping police locate criminals and solve crimes through anonymous reporting. The site also provides crime prevention advice for a number of crimes.
Karma Nirvana is a UK-registered charity that supports victims and survivors of forced marriage and honour-based abuse.
Refuge offers a range of services including refuge, outreach and resettlement support to women and children who have experienced domestic violence, stalking, honour-based violence, trafficking, forced marriage and female genital mutilation.