Honour Based Abuse

What is honour based abuse?

So called 'honour based abuse' is defined as "an incident or crime which has, or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or the community.”

It is described as a way to prevent a person from bringing shame to a family or community, or punish them for doing so. Honour based abuse will often go hand in hand with forced marriages or female genital mutilation (FGM), although this is not always the case.

Honour based abuse can come in many forms and can include physical, sexual, emotional and psychological abuse. 

Tell me more

We have specialists who can provide advice and officers will aim to treat all information in confidence.

If you come to Dorset Police we will:

  • Believe you
  • Recognise and record your wishes as the victim
  • If you are under 18 years old, refer you to the Child Abuse Investigation Team
  • Treat the matter seriously, sensitively and in confidence
  • Work with you to keep you safe. Safety is the absolute priority and will take precedence over all other actions
  • Seek specialist advice if required

Dorset Police will not:

  • Send you away believing that it is not a police matter
  • Approach your family or community leaders
  • Share information without your consent
  • Attempt any form of mediation

There is no specific offence of honour based abuse, however there are a range of criminal offences committed within the honour based abuse category, which can include psychological abuse, sexual abuse, physical assault, abduction, and murder.

Honour-based abuse cuts across all cultures, nationalities, faith groups and communities. It can affect both males and females and can take place anywhere, including the UK. 

If you are worried about the risk of abuse, threats of violence or forced marriage from family or community either towards yourself or another, help is out there. The police and partner agencies are here to offer support, advice and protect you. You don’t have to put up with abuse. 

Dorset Police - Report online here or if you wish to speak with someone call 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency. 

Call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. 

Other Agencies who can help:

  • Karma Nirvana Honour Network Helpline - 0800 5999 247 / www.karmanirvana.org.uk
  • National Domestic Abuse Helpline - 0808 2000 247 / www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk
  • Forced Marriage Unit - If any woman, man, girl or boy is worried about the threat of forced marriage either here or abroad you can contact the HM Government Forced Marriage Unit on 0207 008 0151 or 0207 008 1500 (outside office hours) or seek advice online

Outreach Services (24 hours)

Outreach workers can support you wherever you are. Outreach workers can talk to you on the phone or meet you on a one to one basis. They also run drop-ins across Dorset where you can meet other people in similar situations and receive on-going support.

  • Bournemouth Outreach - 01202 547641
  • Dorset County You First - 0800 0325204
  • Poole Outreach - 01202 710777

More information about local services can be found at the Dorset For You website.

Leaving the country? 

If you are at an airport you must approach a uniformed staff member - police officer, UK Border Force, HM Customs & Revenue official or a uniformed airline official - urgently requesting to speak with police.

Advice and support for children and young people:

If you or someone you know is a victim of abuse, violence or forced marriage please report it online here or if you wish to speak with someone call 101. 

Always dial 999 in an emergency. 

Call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. 

The Dorset Police Safe Schools Community Team has an honour based abuse, forced marriage and FGM educational package available, which can be delivered at any school in Dorset. Teachers who feel this would be beneficial to their pupils can get in touch by emailing ssct@dorset.pnn.police.uk.