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Honour Based Violence

What is honour based violence?

Honour based violence is a violent crime or incident which may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family or community.

It is often linked to family members or acquaintances who mistakenly believe someone has brought shame to their family or community by doing something that is not in keeping with the traditional beliefs of their culture. For example, honour based violence might be committed against people who:

  • become involved with a boyfriend or girlfriend from a different culture or religion
  • want to get out of an arranged marriage
  • want to get out of a forced marriage
  • wear clothes or take part in activities that might not be considered traditional within a particular culture

Women and girls are the most common victims of honour based violence however it can also affect men and boys. Crimes of ‘honour’ do not always include violence. Crimes committed in the name of ‘honour’ might include:

  • domestic abuse
  • threats of violence
  • sexual or psychological abuse
  • forced marriage
  • being held against your will or taken somewhere you don’t want to go
  • assault

A forced marriage is one that is carried out without the consent of both people. This is very different to an arranged marriage, which both people will have agreed to. There is no religion that says it is right to force you into a marriage and you are not betraying your faith by refusing such a marriage (see the forced marriage page)

Useful services / links

Locally Savana is a registered charity providing counselling and support services for those who have experienced or who are affected by any form of sexual violence or abuse whether recently or in the past.  Savana considers sexual violence as;
‘Any sexual behaviour which has a damaging physical or psychological effect upon a person’

Savana provides its services to men, women and children from age four.  Services can be offered whether or not someone has reported their experience to the police.  Clients may have experienced many different forms of sexual violence, and often more than one experience in total. Referral criteria includes:

  • One on One Rape Stalking Domestic Abuse
  • Sexual Harassment Gang Rape ‘Honour’ Based Violence(HBV)
  • Ritual Abuse Genital Mutilation(GM) Assault by Penetration
  • Forced Marriage(FM) Sexual Assault Childhood Sexual Abuse
  • Exposure to Pornography War Crimes Gang and Youth Violence
  • Trafficking Prostitution/Sex work The Porn/Sexual ‘Entertainment’ Industry
  • Online Grooming ‘Sexting’/Sharing Images Child Sexual Exploitation
  • Inappropriate Sexual behaviour in Children under 16 Supporters of those affected by sexual violence including friends, family, workers etc. 

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