Honour Based Abuse
Honour Based Abuse is where a person is subjected to pressure or a crime in order to protect their ‘honour’;
usually carried out by the family or a collective community.
Girls and women are more likely to become victims of HBA. The most common reasoning behind such acts include preserving their virginity, subduing their sexuality or to win back the ‘honour’ lost through unacceptable behaviour.
In the UK?
There are 12 honour killings every year in the UK.
However it is extremely difficult to gather statistical data about a form of abuse that is still very taboo. Due to the nature of the abuse, it is hard for victims to disclose and easy for perpetrators to conceal therefore to quantify exactly how many cases of abuse are honour related is quite complex. Honour abuse is the umbrella term for both Forced Marriage and FGM as 'honour' is usually the primary reason behind both abuses, therefore statistics regarding both FGM and Forced Marriage may be examined.
Furthermore, it is easily accepted that Honour Abuse is mainly a South-East Asian or Middle Eastern practice. This is not the case. In Ireland for example, up until the 1996 Magdalene Institutions existed whereby 'fallen women' who had dishonoured their families and communities by committing various 'crimes' were sent away for rehabilitation. A large number of these women were unwed mothers who had borne children out of wedlock; thus bringing shame on their family.
Around the world
5000 honour killings occur every year, internationally. 1000 of these honour killings occur in India and a further 1000 occur in Pakistan.
Oftentimes, doing things that go out of traditional cultural norms can cause HBV to occur. Family members or close-knit communities can sometimes deem certain behaviour to be unacceptable hence they use types of ‘honour’ violence to restore the family’s supposed ‘lost’ respect.
Some reasons for HBV include:
Having a boyfriend/girlfriend from a culture or religion that is different to yours
Not consenting to an arranged or forced marriage
Wearing ‘western’ clothes that are not compliant with the traditional culture
Honour Abuse is not justifiable as a cultural practice. It is a form of abuse and must be eradicated.
Honour Based Abuse is not limited to the 'Honour Killings' that are prosecuted. Honour Abuse can take many forms:
Sexual and/or emotional abuse
Female Genital Mutilation
An Honour killing