Honour-Based Violence

Honour based violence and abuse can take many forms, e.g. threatening behaviour, assault, rape, kidnap, abduction, forced abortion, threats to kill and false imprisonment committed due to so called ‘honour’. Murders in the name of ‘so-called’ honour, (often called Honour killings) are murders in which predominantly women are killed for actual or perceived immoral behaviour which is deemed to have brought shame on the family. Some examples nationally of honour based murders have been for trivial reasons for example, dressing or behaving too westernised, falling in love with somebody not chosen by their family, rejecting forced marriage or being LGBT.

Studies of the phenomenon of ‘honour’-based violence are currently limited. Where the slaying of women and men with the justification of family ‘honour’ is a collective and even communal enterprise, and the acts of the dead are considered to have brought shame to the family, there is a huge motivation for the family and community to cover up murders. Thus victims are erased from history and the existence and prevalence of honour-based violence in any particular society is difficult to assess. A historical survey suggests that violence against women, which would now be considered as ‘honour’-based violence has occurred in many societies and in many historical periods. Read more here.