HBV banner image‘Honour’-based violence

There is no specific offence of ‘honour’-based violence. However, the Crown Prosecution Service describes ‘honour’-based violence as an incident or crime “which has, or may have, been committed to protect or defend the ‘honour’ of the family and or the community.” ‘Honour’ can be the motivation, excuse or justification behind a range of violent acts against women and girls.

You may recognise ‘honour’ as Izzat, Ghairat, Namus or Sharam.

‘Honour’-based violence includes: 

  • Forced marriage
  • Domestic violence (physical, sexual, emotional or financial abuse)
  • Sexual harassment and sexual violence (rape and sexual assault or threat of rape and sexual assault)
  • Threats to kill
  • Social ostracism or rejection and emotional pressure
  • Denial of access to children
  • Pressure to go or move abroad
  • House arrest and excessive restrictions of freedom
  • Denial of access to the telephone, internet, or passport/key documentation
  • Isolation from friends and own family

You could be a victim of ‘honour’-based violence if you feel threatened or are abused when you try to:

  • Separate or divorce
  • Start a new relationship
  • Talk to or interact freely with men
  • Become pregnant or give birth outside of marriage
  • Have interfaith relationships or marry outside a specified religion
  • Have sex before marriage
  • Marry a person of your own choice
  • Access higher education without approval of your family

If you are victim of ‘honour’-based violence or forced marriage please contact:

Freephone 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247, run by Refuge and Women’s Aid

Forced Marriage Unit on +44 (0) 20 7008 0151 or fmu@fco.gov.uk