Honour Based Abuse

HBVHonour based abuse (HBA) is a violent crime or incident that has occurred to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or community.   It’s often committed as a result of family members who mistakenly believe someone has brought shame to their family or community that isn’t  in keeping with their traditional beliefs of their culture.

HBA might be committed against people who:

  • Have a boyfriend/ girlfriend who is from a different culture or religion
  • Wear inappropriate make-up or dress
  • Take part in activities that may not be considered traditional within a particular culture
  • Marital infidelity
  • Are gay
  • Are misconstrued as flirting
  • Refuse to agree to an arranged marriage
  • Are raped

Common practices carried out in the name of honour include; forced marriages, child marriage, honour killings, female genital mutilation (FGM), domestic abuse, child abuse, vulnerable adult abuse, bride price, dowry abuse, suicide, self-harm, acid attacks, rape, blood feuds and male child preference.

The law and Honour Based Abuse, forced Marriages and FGM

Acts carried out in the name of honour such as violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation is illegal in the UK.There is a maximum seven year sentence on indictment for forced marriages, and a maximum sentence of five years for breaching a Forced Marriage Protection Order (FMPO).

Anybody found guilty of an offence under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 will be liable to a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment or a fine or both.

Get help

If you are a victim of honour based abuse, there are lots of organisations that can offer you help and advice.

Merseyside Police - 101

Merseyside Police will investigate all reports of honour based abuse, forced marriage and FGM. We have a specialist team of officers who will listen to you and work with you to keep you safe and investigate any criminal actions.

Karma Nirvana

Karma Nirvana have been supporting victims of honour crimes and forced marriages since 1993. They can be contacted on 0800 5999247, lines are open 9.30am – 5pm.

Savera UK - 0800 107 0726

Help people experiencing domestic abuse, or who are at risk of forced marriage, honour killing or female genital mutilation.

Forced Marriage Unit - 0207 008 0151

Freedom Charity0845 607 0133

Charity for children and young people who are at risk or subject to honour based crimes/ forced marriages. 

Childline - 0800 1111

NSPCC0808 800500

Liverpool Safeguarding Children Board - 0151 233 0493/ 0510

Sefton Safeguarding Children Board - 0151 934 4706/3366

Wirral Safeguarding Children Board - 0151 606 2000

St Helens Safeguarding Children Board - 01744 673337

Knowlsey Safeguarding Children Board - 0151 443 4311


If you are in immediate danger call 999.