Honour Based Abuse & Violence

Honour based abuse and violence is a collection of practices, which are used to control behaviour and exert power within families to protect perceived cultural and religious beliefs and/or honour. Such violence can occur when perpetrators perceive that an individual has shamed the family and/or community by breaking their honour code. The individual is being punished for actually, or allegedly, undermining what the family or community believes to be the correct code of behaviour.

So-called 'honour based violence' is a fundamental abuse of Human Rights. There is no honour in the commission of murder, kidnap and the many other acts, behaviour and conduct which make up violence in the name of honour.

It may be referred to in some communities as ‘Izzat’. It is often committed with some degree of approval and/or collusion from family and/or community members. Such violence can occur when perpetrators perceive that a relative has shamed the family and/or community, by breaking their honour code. But whilst Honour Based Violence often focuses on the violence experienced by victims, other forms of abuse should not be overlooked.

Women are predominantly (but not exclusively) the victims of ‘so called honour based violence’, which is used to assert male power in order to control female autonomy and sexuality.

Honour Based Violence can take place across national and international boundaries, within extended families and communities and often cuts across cultures, communities and faith groups; including Turkish, Kurdish, Afghani, South Asian, African, Middle Eastern and European. This is not an exhaustive list.

The term is used to describe violence, which sometimes results in a murder, in the name of so-called honour. This is when - predominantly - women are injured or killed for perceived immoral behaviour, which is deemed to have breached the honour code of a family or community, causing shame.