Honor related violence

Honor related violence (also HRV, honor violence, honor based violence, honor crime) refers to any form of physical, physiological or social violence carried out within the family or the community in the name of ‘family honor’ when person’s social, sexual or familial roles and expectations, given by a traditional ideology, are not followed. Sometimes the conflict may arise based entirely on rumors or gossips.

Perceptions of the honor and the community varies and may change at different stages of life. Contrary to what is often assumed, honor related violence is not tied to any particular religion or ethnic group but occurs within different kind of communities. Honor related violence is often seen as a violence against women and girls but also men, boys and persons belonging to sexual and gender minorities may experience the honor related violence and psychological pressure.

Typical forms of honor related violence are for example threatening, extortion, isolation, financial abuse and control of everyday life. It can also be physical abuse, including sexual violence. In addition forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM) are usually seen as forms of honor related violence.

The victim often do not recognize violence as wrong or harmful to her/himself, which can make it challenging to intervene in the situation. All forms of honor related violence are harmful although some of them do not always meet the characteristics of the crime. Even if the characteristics of the crime are not met, it is important to address the situation with a low threshold.

Understanding the characteristics of honor related violence is important in order to anticipate the threat, to find the right, safe approach to resolve the situation and to be able to refer the victim to an appropriate services.

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In addition to the Victim Support Finland, advice and assistance to victims of honor related violence provide among others:

Monika Multicultural Women’s Association

SOPU Work, Loisto Setlementti ry