Honour based abuse
Honour based abuse is a collection of practices used to control behaviour within families in order to protect perceived cultural and religious beliefs and/or honour. It includes forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
Honour based abuse is a crime, often involving:
- threats of violence
- abuse (including psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional abuse).
Using any of the above to protect or defend the honour of an individual, family or community constitutes honour based abuse.
Honour based abuse can affect both men and women. Everyday choices made by an individual could impact on a family or community’s honour and therefore violence and abuse can occur. These simple choices could include:
- choice of clothes
- choice of friends
- relationships with members of the opposite sex
- career choice.
Examples of honour based abuse are:
- your family constantly monitoring and watching what you do
- your family making you feel as though you are ‘bringing shame’ on the family
- not being allowed out of the house after school/work or being locked in your bedroom
- your family saying you are ‘too westernised’ and not allowing you to socialise with your friends/wear make-up or certain clothing
- if you are in a ‘secret relationship’
- being stopped from going to college or university
- being pressured into an ‘arranged marriage.’
If you feel in immediate danger phone 999.
Honour based abuse can result in the following:
- threats and intimidation
- physical, sexual, emotional, financial or psychological, or domestic abuse
- forced marriage (where you not are given a choice if you want to marry the other person, in the UK or be taken abroad to marry).
In every case, police have a responsibility to ensure safety, whether that is by offering advice or prosecuting offenders.
If you believe that you or anyone you know is a victim of honour based abuse, forced marriage or female genital mutilation, please call Suffolk Police on 101 or 999 if it is an emergency.
You can also contact Social Services on 0344 800 8020 for welfare/safety concerns relating to a child, young person or vulnerable adult.
Please don’t be worried about talking to us, we will always listen to you and do everything we can to help.
National Domestic Violence Helpline (24 Hour Freephone)0808 2000 247
Samaritans0845 790 9090
Shelter (for housing advice)0808 800 4444
Men’s Advice Line0808 801 0327
Southall Black Sisters0208 571 9595
Newham Asian Women’s Project0208 472 0528
Ashiana Project (London)0208 539 0427
Ashiana (Sheffield)0114 255 5740
Freedom Charity0845 607 0133 (24/7 helpline)
Karma Nirvana0800 5999 247 (helpline)
Henna Foundation (Cardiff)029 2049 6920
Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO)0207 920 6460
Respond (learning disabilities)0207 383 0700
Forward (for African women)0208 960 4000
Imaan (LGBT Muslim community)0203 393 5188
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