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Honour based violence is a violent crime or incident which may have been committed to “protect” or “defend” the honour of a family.  It can be linked to family member/friends/acquaintances who believe that someone has brought shame to their family by doing something that is not in keeping with the traditional beliefs of that culture.

The following are examples of when honour based violence may happen:

  • victim has a relationship with someone from a different culture/background
  • victim wants to get out of an arranged marriage
  • victim wants to get out of a forced marriage
  • victim wears clothes that are not traditional
  • victim takes part in an activity that might not be considered traditional


Females are more likely to be victims of honour based violence, but males can be affected as well.  Crimes of honour are not always violent, but those committed in the name of honour might include:

  • domestic abuse
  • threats of violence
  • sexual or psychological abuse
  • forced marriage
  • being kidnapped, held against your will
  • assault


A forced marriage is one that is carried out when neither of the people consent.  An arranged marriage is different, both parties will have agreed to it, and there is no religion that says it is right to force anyone into marriage.

Although these types of crime are not prevalent in Cumbria, the police will always take reports seriously and no instances of honour based crime are too minor to report.  The crime does not just affect one person, it affects the whole community.