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Honour based violence (HBV)

Honour Based Violence

Honour based violence (HBV) can affect men and women across a number of cultures and communities and is defined as a crime or incident committed to protect or defend the honour of the family. Issues including choice of dress, friends, relationships and careers can all be perceived as impacting on a family's honour. HBV has the potential to be both a domestic abuse and child abuse concern.

Honour based violence can be distinguished from other forms of violence as it is often committed with some degree of approval and/or collusion from family and/or community members.

Specific behaviours, attitudes and actions that may incorrectly constitute 'dishonour' are wide ranging and include -

  • Reporting domestic abuse
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Inappropriate make-up or dress
  • Running away from home
  • The existence of 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

Domestic abuse - help available
Domestic abuse - help available

We understand it is your decision whether to report a crime and it is one you shouldn't be pushed into, but it is important to remember that the sooner the crime is reported, the more evidence we will be able to collect to help prevent you or someone else being hurt again. If you do decide to make a report, we will do everything we can to make sure you and your family receive the best possible care and support.

Karma Nirvana

Supporting all victims of honour based abuse and forced marriage.


Childline helps anyone under 19 in the UK with trained counsellors. Childline is free, confidential and available any time, day or night.

Metropolitan Police HBV advice page

Muslim Community Helpline

The Muslim Community Helpline is a confidential, non-judgemental listening & emotional support service.


National 24 hour counseling service, to help parents, professionals and anyone worried about a child in the UK.