Honour Based Violence

Honour based violence (HBV)


Honour based violence is a form of domestic abuse which is perpetrated in the name of ‘honour’. It often involves family/community members colluding to ‘punish’ a victim for behaving in a way that they believe has brought shame and dishonour to the family/community.

Everyone can sometimes feel that they are unable to live their lives the way they want to because of reactions from friends and family. However, if you are scared that your actions may lead to violence from your family and the community you may be experiencing so-called ‘honour based’ violence.




  • Disagreeing to a forced marriage


  • Being gay


  • Being raped


  • Dating a male or female from a different religion or culture


  • Kissing a partner in public


  • Becoming pregnant outside of marriage


  • Other behaviour that may not be considered traditional within a particular culture


Most honour based violence (HBV) is perpetrated by men against women however males can be targeted if they are believed to be supporting a victim or if they themselves are gay for example.


Honour based violence and abuse cuts across all cultures, nationalities, faith groups and communities; usually where a culture is heavily male dominated. Relatives including females may conspire, aid, abet or participate in honour based violence or abuse, for what might seem a trivial transgression.


Rumours of such behaviour can be enough to trigger honour based violence (HBV) or murder.


This is not a crime which is perpetrated by men only, often female relatives will incite and assist. Younger relatives are sometimes put forward to undertake the abuse as a way to ensure older family members are protected. Sometimes contract killers will also be employed.


It is thought that there are approximately 12 reported honour killings each year in the UK.

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