Honour Abuse

Honour based abuse is a crime or incident which has or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family or community, where they believe one of their members (usually, but not always, female) has shamed them.  It often occurs with the approval and/or help from family or community members.  Sometimes abuse is also taken out on siblings.

Incidents of abuse include murder, unexplained death (suicide), assault, rape, kidnapping, confinement or imprisonment, or forcing someone into marriage (see also Forced Marriage). Honour based abuse happens in a variety of cultures, nationalities, faith groups and communities. 

There is no ‘honour’ in honour-based abuse, and it is illegal.

A person suffering honour-based abuse may :

  • only be allowed out under supervision, unless going to specific places such as school
  • become increasingly withdrawn, and/or be kept away from friends
  • no longer have access to phones, the internet or their passport
  • change their behaviours and method of dress to a more ‘traditional’ form
  • be suddenly sent abroad to live with family


Getting Help

If you believe your life (or that of someone you know) is at risk, dial 999 immediately.

There are a range of agencies who can help.  Seek guidance from Luton All Women's Centre, Women's Aid in Luton, Stepping Stones, Bedfordshire Police Domestic Abuse Investigation Unit , or other agencies listed on this page to talk through your exact situation and the options open to you.  You can also talk to your GP or other health worker, or your or your children’s school, college or childrens centre.  Do not let your family or social network know you are doing this or you may put yourself in further danger.


See Also : Forced Marriage, FGM, Planning to Stay, Planning to Leave


Other Specialist Advice/Support

The following can also offer specific advice if you are (or the person you are concerned about is) :

A Child or Young Person: contact Childline. You can call email, or log on for 1-2-1 support. 

Male: contact the Men's Advice Line

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender: contact Broken Rainbow or the Men's Advice Line

Polish Domestic Violence Helpline

Nowe Życie Bez Przemocy (A new life without violence) is a Polish website with information for victims of domestic violence living in the UK. The main purpose of the helpline is to provide Polish people who experience domestic violence with a confidential contact, which will allow them to talk about their situation in their native language and to obtain information about available help and support. It co-operates with English and Polish organisations and support groups with the aim of referring victims to them. The line is currently open on Tuesdays 10.00 - 12.00 and 13.00 - 15.00 and Wednesdays from 10.00 to 16.00

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National Stalking Helpline

The National Stalking Helpline responds to nearly 3,000 victims of stalking each year. A small team of highly trained staff and volunteers provide – by phone and email – information and guidance on the law, how to report stalking, gathering evidence, staying safe and reducing the risk.

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JAN Trust

Offers a range of services and projects to support communities to integrate into wider society and become active citizens. The organisation provides a much needed secure space where women can support each other as well as learn together to empower themselves and their families. It is dedicated to the cause of combating poverty, discrimination, abuse and social exclusion among Black, Asian, minority ethnic, refugee and asylum women.


Advice for women and girls on honour based violence, forced marriage, FGM and domestic violence. Kurdish, Arabic, Turkish, Farsi, Dari, Pashtu and English.

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