Honour-based abuse

Honour-based abuse is defined as a crime or incident which has or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and / or the community. It is a collection of practices used to control behaviour and includes Forced Marriage (FM) and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

Honour-based abuse can affect both men and women, and cuts across a number of cultures and communities. It is closely associated with domestic abuse and child protection matters.

Issues such as dress, choice of friends, relationships with members of the opposite sex and career choice among others could all impact on a family's honour. Violence and abuse can occur when perpetrators perceive that a relative has shamed the family and/or community by breaking their honour code – this is honour-based abuse.

There are many examples of how honour-based abuse can affect someone's life including being isolated from local communities, not being allowed independence, forced into marriage or under duress from their family.

Honour-based abuse can result in the following:

  • Common assault
  • Domestic abuse
  • Forced marriage
  • Cruelty to persons under 16 (including neglect and abandonment)
  • Theft (eg passport)
  • Child abduction
  • Abduction of an unmarried girl under the age of 16 from parent or guardian
  • Abduction of a woman by force or for the sake of her property
  • Rape
  • Aiding and abetting a criminal offence
  • Kidnapping
  • False imprisonment
  • Female Genital Mutilation (read more below)
  • Murder
For advice and assistance, contact the Norfolk MASH on 0344 800 8020 or phone 999 in emergencies.