What is honour based violence or abuse (HBVA)?
HBVA is a collection of actions which are used to control behaviour and exert power within families to protect perceived cultural and religious beliefs and honour.
Such violence can occur when an abuser perceives that someone has shamed the family 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. If a child or young person under the age of 18 is at risk of HBVA, it's a safeguarding issue and they could be at risk of significant harm.
Types of HBVA include:
- Forced Marriage
- Female Genital Mutilation
- Honour Killing
- Gender select abortion - often aborting a female foetus
- Dowry abuse – pressuring mainly brides to get gifts, high value items, land or property from their own family to give to the groom or the groom's family. It can take place before, during and anytime after the 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 exclusion or rejection and emotional pressure
- House arrest - not being allowed to leave the house alone
- Excessive restrictions of freedom - for example, not able to choose their own clothes, diet or leisure and social activities
- Denial of further education or employment
- Limited or no access to the telephone, internet or passport and other key documents
- Isolation from friends and own family
Who's at risk of honour based violence?
Women and girls are most at risk of becoming victims of HBVA. You're also at greater risk if you're:
- A member of the LGBT community
- Considered too 'western' by your family or community members
- Having an interfaith relationship
- Seeking a divorce or separation against your family’s approval
- Pregnant outside of marriage or have given birth outside of marriage
- Marrying a person of your own choice without your family's approval
- Accessing higher education without your family's approval
Where can you get help?
- If you're in immediate danger, call 999
- If you need non-emergency police assistance, call 101 for the Greater Manchester police switchboard's 24-hour service
Forced Marriage Unit - offers help if you're being forced to marry or scared you may be forced into marriage: 020 7008 0151 or
- The Guardian Project - provides help and advice to young children and girls up to the age of 21. It also provides support to familes affected by FGM as well as professionals in risk assessing and signposting to appropriate services: 07449 651677
Rochdale Women’s Welfare Association - specialist support for women experiencing honour-based violence and abuse: 01706 860157