Honour based abuse


'Honour based abuse' means a crime or incident committed to protect or defend the 'honour' of a family or community. Honour based abuse will often go hand in hand with forced marriage, although this is not always the case.

Honour crimes and forced marriages are already covered by the law, and can involve a range of criminal offences

Female genital mutilation

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a collective term used for procedures, such as female circumcision, which include the partial or total removal of the external female genital organs, or injury to the female genital organs for a cultural or non-therapeutic reason.

Forced Marriage

A forced marriage is when one or both parties do not consent to the marriage, and people are forced into marriage against their will. There could be both physical and emotional abuse used to coerce you into the marriage.

Forced marriage is an abuse of human rights

This is not the same as an arranged marriage, where you have a choice whether to accept the arrangement or not. The tradition of arranged marriages has operated successfully within many communities and countries for a very long time.

Warning signs

Warning signs of someone being at risk of a forced marriage include:

  • extended absence from school or college, truancy, a drop in performance, low motivation, excessive parental restriction and control of movements, a history of brothers or sisters leaving education early to marry
  • poor attendance in the workplace, poor performance, parental control of income and limited career choices
  • evidence of self-harm, treatment for depression, attempted suicide, social isolation, eating disorders or substance abuse
  • evidence of family disputes or conflict, domestic violence or abuse or running away from home