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Honour Based Abuse

The idea of ‘honour’ is for some communities deemed to be extremely important. To compromise a family’s ‘honour’ is often to bring dishonour and shame and this can have severe consequences. The punishment for bringing dishonour can be emotional abuse, physical abuse, family disownment and in some cases even murder.

So called “honour-based” abuse – is referred to as “so called” as there is a need to be clear that there is no honour in abusing someone. This type of abuse is often carried out as a result of the victim bringing shame on their family or the wider community. Consequences are sometimes significant, potentially resulting in the victims death.

Honour-based abuse (HBA) is the term used to refer to a collection of practices used predominantly to control the behaviour of women and girls within families or other social groups in order to protect supposed cultural and religious beliefs, values and social norms in the name of ‘honour’.

In most honour-based abuse cases there are multiple perpetrators from the immediate family, sometimes the extended family and occasionally the community at large. Mothers, sisters, aunties and even grandmothers have been known to be involved in the conspiring of honour crimes.