The use of the term “Honour” or “Izzat” is a word that describes the concept of a family’s prestige and reputation within its community.
A person’s entire life can be governed by a code of behaviour or perceived behaviour based on the need to maintain the “Izzat” of the family at all times.
HBV is dominating, aggressive and an extreme form of behaviour and control used by one or several members of the family, extended family and community against an individual, whether it is physical, emotional, sexual or financial.
Living with HBV
You may not be aware or recognise that you are living with HBV as you feel you have a duty to protect the “Izzat” of your family, which is preventing you from seeking advice and help.
You may not be aware that forcing someone to marry against his or her will is a Civil Offence in the UK.
Assistance is available from organisations such as Karma Nirvana, Henna Foundation, Southall Black Sisters, Women’s Aid, Police, Education, Health, Social Services, and Forced Marriage Unit
Are you distressed because you are:
• Being watched, monitored, controlled by your family’s use of religion, culture, tradition or faith?
• Kept away from school?
• Being made to feel that you are in the wrong?
• Being punished because you said “NO”?
• Locked in the house/or your room?
• Not allowed to socialise with “Western” friends or go to their homes/parties?
• Not allowed to wear make-up/western clothes/watch certain television programmes?
• Being threatened emotionally and mentally?
• Being blackmailed, physically beaten, sexually abused/harassed or your money taken away?
• Receiving verbal threats to kill, i.e., “I will kill you if you run away” “I will chop you into pieces”?
• Gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender?
• Being taken on a “family holiday” and do not want to go?
• Being forced to marry someone without your consent?
• Being forced to sponsor your spouse from abroad?
• Using drugs or alcohol to escape the pain you are suffering?
• Self harming or thinking of suicide?
• Afraid that your children will be taken away from you?
• Frightened that you will be disowned?
• Frightened that family/community will find you if you leave?
• Frightened that if you disclose the abuse, family will find out?
• Frightened that you will “dishonour” and bring “Shame” on your family?
• Escorted to places and never allowed to be alone?
• In an unhappy marriage?
• Worried about not being a virgin?
• Been a victim of female circumcision or Female Genital Mutilation?
• Worried about a young female who could be at risk of circumcision?
• Have a “secret” boyfriend/girlfriend?
• Want a divorce?
• Feel isolated, lonely, ashamed and guilty?
• Think you cannot leave, as you will be sent to your country of origin?
• Feel you will not be able to cope emotionally or financially in western society without your family/family-in law?
• Know of anyone who could be at risk of Honour Based Violence or Forced Marriage
• Been silenced by your family/extended family/community from speaking out?
• Been promised in marriage to someone from an early age?
• Left before and are you frightened of leaving again because of pressure and emotional blackmail from family/community?
• Had threats that your family will use “black magic”?
• YOU JUST DON’T KNOW HOW TO LEAVE?
Preparing to Leave
If you are planning to leave start preparing by keeping important documents or copies, such as your:
• Passport(s) (of children too)
• Driving Licence
• Birth Certificate (of children too)
• National Insurance details (including P60s, P45 and try to leave no trace)
• Bank Statements
• Mobile Phone bills
• Any other bills, you may require
• Photograph of your partner (in case of deportation)
• Photographs of your family (in case of disownment)
Other things to Consider before leaving
• Be careful of using the Internet for help sites as it may leave a historical trail (see chapter………)
• Be wary of making calls from a landline or mobile that belongs to the family
• Stop your bank statements or bills being sent to the house
• Do not tell work or friends that you are planning to leave
• Contact the Forced Marriage Unit, if you think you will be taken abroad
• Write down family names/village names that you maybe taken to abroad
• Seek legal advice from Legal Services Commission
• Contact the Police as your family may report you and/or the vehicle missing or that you have stolen money/jewellery
• Seek advice from agencies such as; the National Domestic Violence Helpline, Freedom Charity, Karma Nirvana, Henna Foundation, Southall Black Sisters, Women’s Aid, Police, Education, Health, Social Services, Forced Marriage Unit
Leaving in an Emergency
If you need to leave immediately, please contact the police on 999 or 101 non emergency and ask for the Force Operations Room Supervisor explaining you are escaping “Honour Based Violence”.
DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUSTANCE RETURN TO THE FAMILY ADDRESS
Always remember you are not alone, with support you can come through the difficult ordeal of leaving and start a new life to build your own family
Honour Based Violence and Forced Marriage
LSCB Polices, Guidance and Protocols - Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB)
Right to Choose - Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Address: Forced Marriage Unit, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Old Admiralty Building, London, SW1A 2PA
For out of hours emergencies, please telephone 0207 008 1500 and ask to speak to the Global Response Centre.
Freedom Charity – 24 hour helpline 0845 607 0133
UK Asian Women’s Centre 0121 523 4910
DOLI Project - support group 0845 6581 057
Women’s Aid National number 0808 2000 247
Karma Nirvana Honour Network 0800 5999 247
Ashiana Network 0208 5390 427
Women's Resource Centre (London): 0208 9616 549
Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation (IKWRO) 07862 733511 (24hrs) 0207 920 6460
Newham Asian Women's Project (London): 0208 472 0528
Roshni (Nottingham Asian Women's Aid): 0115 948 3450
Shakti Women's Aid (Edinburgh): 0131 475 2399
Southall Black Sisters (London): 0208 571 0800 / 0208 571 9595
Helpline Office Hours: Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm. Closed Wed 12.30pm - 1.30pm.
General Enquiries Office Hours: Monday - Friday 9am - 4pm. Closed for lunch 12.30pm - 1.30pm.
FGM Project Metropolitan Police – Project Azure 0207 230 8392
FORWARD 0208 960 4000
The African Well Women’s Clinic (AWWC) 0207 188 6872
Newham Asian Women’s Refuge 0208 472 0528
Birmingham Crisis Centre 0121 507 0707
Throughcare Housing Support 0121 554 3920
Kiran Project 0208 558 1986
Haven Project 01379 642300
Women’s Aid Bury St Edmunds 01284 753085
Ipswich Women’s Aid 01473 745111
Waveney Women’s Aid 0800 587 7890
Government Multi-Agency Practice Guidelines