Forced Marriage and Honour Based Abuse
A forced marriage is a marriage in which one or both spouses do not (or, in the case of some adults with learning or physical disabilities, cannot) consent to the marriage and duress is involved. Duress can include physical, psychological, financial, sexual and emotional pressure.
There is a clear distinction between a forced marriage and an arranged marriage. In arranged marriages, the families of both spouses take a leading role in arranging the marriage but the choice whether or not to accept the arrangement remains with the prospective spouses.
Honour Based Abuse or Violence
Honour based abuse is a collection of practices used by many cultures to control behaviour within families in order to protect religious beliefs and defend the family or community ‘honour’. It also includes forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
The term is used to describe violence, which sometimes results in a murder, in the name of so-called honour. This is when - predominantly - women are injured or killed for perceived immoral behaviour, which is deemed to have breached the honour code of a family or community, causing shame.
Honour based abuse is a crime, often involving violence or threats of violence, intimidation and/or abuse (including psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional abuse). Using any of these to protect or defend the honour of an individual, family or community constitutes honour based abuse.
So-called 'honour based violence or abuse' is a fundamental abuse of Human Rights. There is no honour in the commission of murder, kidnap and the many other acts, behaviour and conduct which make up violence in the name of honour.
Honour based abuse can affect both men and women and everyday choices made by an individual could impact on a family’s or community’s honour and therefore violence and abuse can occur. These simple choices could include choice of clothes, choice of friends, relationships with members of the opposite sex and/or career choice.
If you are, or someone else is, in immediate danger phone 999.
If you believe that you or anyone you know is a victim of honour based abuse, forced marriage or female genital mutilation, please call Suffolk Police on 101 or 999 if it is an emergency.