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Honour-based abuse

The concept of ‘honour’ is for some communities is extremely important. To compromise a family’s ‘honour’ is 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.

Honour-based abuse is a fundamental abuse of an individual’s human rights. There is no religious or cultural basis to this abuse or violence. It is a crime and we will take any information received about this subject seriously.

Honour-based abuse can affect both men and women. Everyday choices made by an individual could impact on a family’s or communities’ honour and therefore violence and abuse can occur. These simple choices could include: choice of clothes, choice of friends, relationships or career choice.

In most honour-based abuse cases there are multiple perpetrators from the immediate family, sometimes the extended family and occasionally the community at large.

Honour-based abuse can include:                                

  • Verbal threats
  • Violence
  • Being forced to do things against your will
  • Sexual or psychological abuse

If you believe you or someone you know is a victim of any of these offences please contact us. If you are in immediate danger please ring 999 and Northumbria Police will protect you and find you a safe place to stay.

The warning signs of honour based abuse can include:

  • Broken communication between victim and friends
  • Absence from education or the workplace
  • Criticism of the victim for ‘western’ adoption of dress or make-up
  • Restrictions in leaving the house or being accompanied outside the home
  • Depressive or suicidal tendencies in an otherwise happy person.


Can males be victim of honour based abuse?

Honour-based abuse is not determined by gender; both perpetrators and victims can be male or female.

I am the victim of honour based abuse or violence, what can I do?

If you are in fear of this kind of abuse or violence do not underestimate the seriousness of the situation. Honour-based abuse takes lives. We take these issues seriously and we will help. Contact us immediately by calling 101 or 999 if you feel you are in immediate danger.

Hidden Harms: Honour Based Abuse
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