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Honour-Based Violence

What is it?

Honour based violence is a collection of practises, which are used to control behaviour within families to protect perceived cultural and religious beliefs and/or honour.

This type of violence can occur when the perpetrators perceive that a relative has shamed the family and/or community by breaking their honour code.

This subject encompasses a variety of offences including:

Honour based violence can occur in any community and can affect both males and females. All cases will be handled with care and sensitivity in order to provide the victims with the necessary support.

We have a specialist who has a cultural understanding and can assist in ensuring that our response reflects the victim’s needs.

Report it

Avon and Somerset Constabulary, Lighthouse victim and Witness care teams work closely with victims of honour based abuse and forced marriage to provide them with support.

Any personalised information given will be handled with integrity and confidentially to protect anyone accessing information about you.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary treat victims of Honour based Violence and Forced Marriage seriously. You can be assured that you will be believed, and handled with great sensitivity and understanding.

Protecting you is our priority, and key in our response and investigation. We will listen to your needs and discuss what options are available to achieve them.  You will get access to specialist support through our partners/agencies, so that you are not left isolated and vulnerable throughout the whole process.

Forced Marriage

One of the most common and high profile forms of honour based violence is the practise of forced marriage. Forced Marriage is where the marriage is conducted without valid consent of one or both parties, where duress is a factor (or, in the case of some adults with learning or physical disabilities, cannot) consent to the marriage.

Arranged Marriage

Where the family introduce a prospective spouse.  Both spouses are free to choose whether to marry or not. There is no duress involved.

Forced Marriage Protection Order

A Forced Marriage Protection Order protects someone who has been forced into a marriage or is facing being forced into a marriage.

It is now a crime to force a person into a marriage against their will. Anyone found guilty can face up to 7 years in prison.

Where can I get help or further information?

The police take reports of forced marriage very seriously and will work to protect and support the victim fully.

If you suspect you are going to be forced into marriage in the UK or be taken abroad to marry then please contact the police so they can help protect you and prevent this happening.

If you feel in immediate danger you should dial 999 immediately.

If you feel you are at risk, the police would prefer to speak to you on the phone (on 101) or in person. However, if contacting them online is the safest way for you to get in touch, you can complete the secure online reporting form.

If you feel you are unable to report directly to Avon and Somerset Constabulary, or do not have access to report online, you can also report through a third party agency, School/College/GP or a community organisation.

A Home Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office initiative, the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) is dedicated to preventing British nationals being forced into marriage.

They deal with over 1600 reports of forced marriages a year. They will need to talk to you on the phone to work out a plan of action. Their caseworkers are fully trained to deal with the emotional, cultural and social issues surrounding forced marriage. They can be contacted on 020 7008 0151.

Or, if you are concerned that someone you know if going to be taken abroad and forced into marriage you can apply for a Forced Marriage Prevention Order to be made. For further details on this please visit http://www.justice.gov.uk/protecting-the-vulnerable/forced-marriage

The following organisations can also offer help and support.

Henna Foundation                         www.hennafoundation.co.uk

Karma Nirvana                                www.karmanirvana.org.uk

Jeena International                        www.jeena.org.uk

The Sharan Project                       www.shahran.org.uk

Muslim Womens Network UK     www.mwnuk.co.uk

BAWSO                                             www.bawso.org.uk