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‘Honour-based’ abuse is a crime. It is a form of domestic abuse and is used to control a woman or young person which is carried out by a family or community member. The people who carry out the abuse may say that the woman or young person has brought shame on themselves or their family.
It can take the form of being isolated, threatened, physical violence, extreme pressure and some women have been murdered. Some families/communities abuse women and girls, saying it is because they want to protect the family or community ‘honour’ or ‘izzat’.
- have a relationship with someone
- refuse a forced marriage
- wear make-up or certain clothes or socialising in a way which the family/community disapproves of
- being, or coming out as, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex.
Although there is no specific law that covers honour-based abuse, it is covered by existing legislation. For example, things like physical violence, emotional abuse, being threatened or being isolated from others could be covered by the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018.
In Scotland there are organisations that specialise in supporting women and children who have experienced ‘honour based’ abuse:
- Shakti Women’s Aid – 0131 475 2399
- Hemat Gryffe – 0141 353 0859
- Scottish Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline – 0800 027 1234