Honour based violence (HBV) is a violent crime or incident that has occurred to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or community.

It’s often committed as a result of family members who mistakenly believe someone has brought shame to their family or community that isn’t in keeping with their traditional beliefs of their culture.

HBV might be committed against people who:

  • Have a boyfriend/ girlfriend who is from a different culture or religion
  • Wear inappropriate make-up or dress
  • Take part in activities that may not be considered traditional within a particular culture
  • Marital infidelity
  • Are gay
  • Are misconstrued as flirting
  • Refuse to agree to an arranged marriage
  • Are raped

Common practices carried out in the name of honour include; forced marriages, child marriage, honour killings, female genital mutilation (FGM), domestic abuse, child abuse, vulnerable adult abuse, bride price, dowry abuse, suicide, self-harm, acid attacks, rape, blood feuds and male child preference.

More information about FGM

More information about Forced Marriage

The law and Honour Based Violence, forced Marriages and FGM

Acts carried out in the name of honour such as violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation is illegal in the UK. There is a maximum seven year sentence on indictment for forced marriages, and a maximum sentence of five years for breaching a Forced Marriage Protection Order (FMPO).

Anybody found guilty of an offence under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 will be liable to a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment or a fine or both.

Get help

If you are a victim of honour based violence, there are lots of organisations that can offer you help and advice.

Merseyside Police - 101Hands in chains

Merseyside Police will investigate all reports of honour based violence, forced marriage and FGM. They have a specialist team of officers who will listen to you and work with you to keep you safe and investigate any criminal actions.

Savera UK - 0800 107 0726

If you do not wish to speak to the police, the Commissioner works with Liverpool-based charity Savera UK to provide fast, non-judgemental and confidential support to anyone affected by ‘honour’-based abuse and harmful practices, regardless of age, culture, sexuality or gender.

Savera UK

You can also contact any of the following organisations:

Karma Nirvana

Karma Nirvana have been supporting victims of honour crimes and forced marriages since 1993. They can be contacted on 0800 5999247, lines are open 9.30am – 5pm.

Forced Marriage Unit - 0207 008 0151

Freedom Charity - 0845 607 0133

Charity for children and young people who are at risk or subject to honour based crimes/ forced marriages.

Childline - 0800 1111

NSPCC - 0808 800500

Knowsley Safeguarding Children Board

Liverpool Safeguarding Children Board

Sefton Local Safeguarding Children Board

St Helens Safeguarding Children Board

Wirral Safeguarding Children Board

If someone is in immediate danger, you should always call 999.