Honour based violence has been an ongoing issue within the Black and Minority Ethnic community for decades. It can be defined as a violent crime committed to defend the honour of a community or family. Honour based violence, is often targeted at family members who are thought to bring shame and dishonour to the community or family by doing something against traditions.
Such acts of violence are committed against people who:
- May want to get out of an arranged or forced marriage.
- Are involved in a relationship (boy/girlfriend/dating) with someone from a different religion or cultural background.
- Wear clothing not considered to be within cultural/traditional standards.
Victims of honour based violence might also experience domestic abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, emotional and or psychological abuse, assault and possibly death in some cases (safe.met.police.uk)
It was reported that between 2010-2014, more than 11,000 cases of “so called honour crime were recorded by UK police forces” (BBC News.2015). BBC News also revealed 11,744 unreported incidents including FGM and forced marriages. These figures do not show the full extent of this matter as victim are often perpetrators own family members.
Honour based violence is currently predominant amongst populations from the Middle East and South Asia although they may occur in other areas (IKWRO.2011). It is thought that, honour based violence is increasing rapidly within the UK. A BBC3 documentary (“Murdered by my father”) aired in March 2016 revealed, a true story drama of honour based violence as a result of a clash between tradition and individual freedom. Other case studies of such violent practices include:
- Banaz Mahmod- 20 year old female strangled on the orders of her father and uncle.
- Tulay Goren – murdered by her father
- Shafilea Ahmed – 17 year old who suffered years of honour based violence.
- Samia Shahid- 28 year old who was found dead In Pakistan in an alleged honour killing.
- Amina Al- Jeffery- 21 year old who was imprisoned by father in Saudi Arabia.
Honour based violence is a crime and perpetrators will be persecuted. This violence against any individual under the age of 18 constitutes to child abuse and will also trigger immediate action by local authorities.
Organisations such as IKWRO, Halo Project, Safe. Met, CPS.GOV.UK is supporting victims of domestic abuse by actively working with victims of honour based violence within the UK. These organisations are advising victims about their rights, enabling safety, raising awareness about this matter and informing victims of support available for them within their local communities.
Individuals at risk of honour based violence that requires immediate action should call the police on 999. Alternatively individuals can call 101, stop a police officer in the streets or attend a police station to make enquires about honour based violence.
References and Further Readings