Honour based abuse
Honour based abuse is not about religion, it's about culture. It's to do with beliefs and customs and an expectation that people should behave in a certain way. Not doing so can be seen as bringing 'shame' or 'dishonour' on individuals, a family or a community.
But there’s no honour in inflicting pain or hurt on anyone and no excuse for abuse or violence.
Acts carried out in the name of honour such as violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation are illegal in the UK and carry substantial prison sentences.
You have the right to choose who you marry, when you marry or if you marry at all.
Sometimes people face threats, physical or sexual violence or are made to feel like they’re bringing shame on their family if they don’t marry a specific person.
If someone physically, emotionally or psychologically pressures you into marriage they’re breaking the law and can be sentenced to up to 7 years in prison.
It’s also illegal to:
- take someone overseas to force them to marry (whether or not the marriage takes place)
- marry someone who lacks the mental capacity to consent to marriage (whether they’re pressured to or not)
Arranged marriages have worked well in society for many years and are not the same as forced marriages.
There is a clear difference.
In arranged marriages the families of both spouses take a leading role but the choice whether or not to accept the proposal remains with the prospective spouses themselves.
If you or someone you know is at risk you can report it online, call Kent Police on 101 or visit your local police station.