Honour Based Violence (HBV) in a nutshell

IKWRO definition of HBV

‘Honour based violence’ is an organised and collective crime or incident, which has or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or community’. It could include mutilation, imprisonment, forced marriage or honour forced suicide.

Who are typically most likely to be a victim of HBV

  • Women 
  • Young women
  • Children 
  • Men
  • People with disabilities
  • Gay and lesbian
  • Anyone who attempts to help them

What amounts to Dishonour

  • Refusing to enter an arranged marriage or forced marriage
  • Sex outside marriage i.e. losing of virginity, adultery, pregnancy
  • Homosexuality 
  • Being a victim of rape
  • Seeking divorce
  • Having a boyfriend
  • 'Inappropriate' make up, or dress, smoking, going out
  • Reporting / fleeing domestic violence or a forced marriage

Obstacles to seeking protection

  • Underestimating the threat 
  • Poor perception of police and other agencies able to help
  • Fear of lack of confidentiality
  • Feelings of guilt and shame
  • Low self-esteem and lack of confidence
  • Fear of losing children
  • Language barriers
  • No recourse to public funding
  • Risk of deportation

Psychological Impacts

  • Living in fear.
  • Loss of trust in all around you and eventually yourself also.
  • Hyper-vigilance, nightmares, flashbacks, post-traumatic stress disorder and possibly depression
  • Isolation, loneliness, shame and silence
  • Self-blame, feelings of guilt
  • Loss of self esteem
  • Fear of being labelled by the community