Honour- based abuse is a form of domestic abuse which is committed against a person by their family or community and can take many forms including forced marriage, virginity testing, enforced abortion, female genital mutilation, as well as physical, sexual, and economic abuse, and coercive control. Control may include being kept at home with no freedom, isolating you from friends, not having access to the internet or your own identifying documents.
The abuse takes place when the family or community’s perception is that the person has brought dishonour or shame to them by their behaviour. This behaviour may include talking to a male unrelated to the family, seeking a divorce, rejecting forced marriage, having a partner from another faith, using drugs, identifying as homosexual, and/or accessing higher education.
This is abuse; all forms of domestic abuse are illegal. Religion and tradition are not an excuse. 
If the above sounds like the experience of somebody you know, it is not your responsibility to stop the abuse, however there are ways that you can support them: 

  • Listen to them. You don’t need to be able to provide the answers. Showing somebody that you believe them and that you care can be very important, you may be the first person they have told about what is happening.
  • Give them options. The person has taken a big step in speaking to you about their experience; this is the first step and may not mean that they are now ready to take any further action. You can be supportive by providing them with information around their options, so that they know where to go if they choose to seek further help in the future. 

University support services for students

Report and Support is a disclosure site, which allow students to inform the University of incidents including honour-based abuse. Students and staff can report anonymously, or can request to speak to an advisor who is a trained member of the Student Welfare team to discuss their disclosure and options, this will be in line with University's privacy statement and does not instigate the start of formal complaint. Our Counselling, Mental Health, and Wellbeing Service is also available if a student needs support with their mental health or wellbeing. 

External Support 

Whilst there is no specific offence of ‘honour-based crime’, it is, according to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), ‘a violation of human rights and may be a form of domestic and/or sexual violence’. Acts of honour-based abuse and violence are criminal acts covered by legislation that already exists and can be reported to the Police. This link explains how Greater Manchester Police can support somebody.  If you or somebody else are in immediate danger, please call 999.
If the person experiencing abuse does not want to speak to the Police at the moment, they can still access support: 
Karma Nirvana run a helpline on 0800 5999 247.

The HALO Project offer support around accommodation, safety planning, and outreach support.

Southall Black Sisters offer support around forced marriage.

If the person needs help with their mental health, SHOUT provides text-based crisis support. Text SHOUT to 85258. You can also call the Greater Manchester NHS Mental Health Helpline available 24/7 on 0800 953 0285. 

There are two ways you can tell us what happened