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Honour Based Violence


Download the Warwickshire Honour Based Violence poster here.

What is Honour Based Violence (HBV)?
It is a crime or incident which has, or may have been, committed to protect or
defend the honour of the family and/or community. HBV has the potential to be
both a domestic abuse and child abuse concern.

Specific behaviours, attitudes and actions that may constitute ‘dishonour’ are wide ranging and include

  • Reporting domestic abuse
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Inappropriate make-up or dress
  • Running away from home
  • ‘Allowing’ rape
  • Having a boyfriend
  • Pregnancy outside of marriage
  • Interfaith relationships
  • Rejecting a forced or arranged marriage
  • Leaving a spouse or seeking divorce
  • Kissing, holding hands or other intimacy in a public place
  • Gay men or women who are lesbians declaring their sexuality
  • Ostracism by family and community
  • Economic damage.

Individuals, families and communities may take drastic steps to preserve, protect or avenge their honour. This can lead to substantial human rights abuses including:

  • Murder (so-called honour killings)
  • Forced marriages
  • Female genital mutilation
  • Dowry abuse (including ‘bride burning’)

HBV Warning Signs:


  • Truancy
  • Decline in performance or punctuality
  • Low motivation at school
  • Poor exam results
  • Being withdrawn from education by those with parental responsibility
  • Not being allowed to attend extra-curricular activities.


  • Self harm
  • Attempted suicide
  • Eating disorders
  • Depression
  • Isolation
  • Substance misuse.

Police Involvement

  • Other young people within the family reported missing
  • Reports of domestic violence or breaches of the peace at the family home
  • Female Genital Mutilation
  • The individual reported for offences e.g. shoplifting or substance misuse.

Family History

  • Siblings forced to marry
  • Early marriage of siblings
  • Family disputes
  • Running away from home
  • Unreasonable restrictions e.g. “house arrest.”


  • Poor performance
  • Poor attendance
  • Limited career choices
  • Not allowed to work
  • Unable to attend business trips
  • Unreasonable financial control e.g. confiscation of wages/income.

Useful Resources and Contacts

Karma Nirvana is a national charity supporting victims of honour-based abuse and forced marriage. 

Refuge is a countywide service which provides support to women, men and children experiencing domestic violence in Warwickshire. This includes culturally specific services, including support to victims of FGM, honour based violence and forced marriage.

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