An incident or crime involving violence, threats of violence, intimidation, coercion or abuse (including psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional abuse), which has or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of an individual, family and or community for alleged or perceived breaches of the family and / or community’s code of behaviour.

Issues such as a person’s choice of:

  • dress sense
  • friendship group
  • relationships
  • career choice

or, a person not doing as the family say might be said to bring shame on a family or community.

It does not have to include any physical violence.

It can include:

  • Physical and sexual violence
  • Emotional abuse, for example threats and insults
  • Forced marriage
  • Financial abuse

It can have a devastating impact on young people. For example it can make people feel scared, threatened, anxious, depressed, stressed or even suicidal.


At least 5,000* individuals are murdered as a result of ‘honor’ based abuse worldwide every year. At least one of these murders takes place in the UK every month.


-SafeLives, 2017
*This is thought to be an underestimate.

The Law

In the UK Honour Based Abuse is a crime

Nationally there are approximately 12 -15 reported honour killings per year in the United Kingdom.

The statistics do not take into account the many people and school children who are taken abroad and do not return and their whereabouts are unknown. Neither do they reflect the nature of the abuse that can often be non-violent but nonetheless threatening and frightening to the point where you can’t make a single decision about your own life.

These figures suggest that ‘honour’ based abuse is a serious problem within the UK.

Reports to the police about ‘honour’ based abuse are taken seriously and no incident is too minor to report.


None of the world’s major religions condone honour based violence.


Whether you are experiencing honour based abuse, or know someone who is, there are specialist support services that can offer advice.

Karma Nirvana

Honour Network Helpline

0800 5999 247

Karma Nirvana is an award-winning National charity supporting victims of honour-based abuse and forced marriage. They support and work with victims of any age, faith and gender.

IKWRO Website


IKWRO is a women’s rights organisation.

The IKWRO website has useful up to date information on ‘honour’ based violence and forced marriage. 


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