Honour Based Abuse is an international term used by many cultures for justification of abuse and violence. It is a crime or incident committed in order to protect or defend the family or community ‘honour’.
Honour based abuse will often go hand in hand with forced marriages, although this is not always the case. Honour crimes and forced marriages are already covered by the law, and can involve a range of criminal offences.
Honour Based Abuse is often the collective term used to include Female Genital Mutilation and Forced Marriage.
A forced marriage is a marriage in which one or both spouses do not (or, in the case of some adults with learning or physical disabilities, cannot) consent to the marriage and duress is involved. Duress can include physical, psychological, financial, sexual and emotional pressure.
There is a clear distinction between a forced marriage and an arranged marriage. In arranged marriages, the families of both spouses take a leading role in arranging the marriage but the choice whether or not to accept the arrangement remains with the prospective spouses.
A video from the Forced Marriage Unit shows the devastating impact of forced marriage on victims and their families. The aim of the film is to raise public awareness of the impact of forced marriage, and warn of the criminal consequences of involvement, building on the outreach and education work of the FMU. Told from the perspective of a victim’s older brother, who is complicit in arranging her forced marriage but unaware of its true impact until it is too late, the film represents the first time the FMU have directly targeted family members.