Honour-based violence

Do you need immediate help?

  • Call 999 in an emergency - if you can't talk on the call, try coughing or tapping the phone. If the operator asks you if you're in danger, press 55.
  • If it's not an emergency, call Greater Manchester Police on 101 - the switchboard is open 24 hours a day.
  • Forced Marriage Unit - offers help if you're being forced to marry or scared you may be forced into marriage.
  • The Guardian Project - provides help and advice to young children and girls up to the age of 21. It also provides support to families affected by FGM as well as professionals in risk assessing and signposting to appropriate services.
  • Rochdale Women’s Welfare Association - support for women experiencing racial inequalities affected by forced marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM) or sexual assault.
  • Karma Nirvana - support for victims of forced marriage and honour-based abuse.

About honour-based violence

Honour-based violence is a collection of actions that 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 honour-based violence, it's a safeguarding issue and they could be at risk of significant harm.

Types of honour-based violence

Types of honour-based violence and abuse 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 any time 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

People at risk of honour-based violence

Women and girls are most at risk of becoming victims of honour-based violence and abuse.

You're also at greater risk if you're:

  • A member of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and others (LGBTQ+) 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