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"Honour crimes" and forced marriage

What is a so-called 'honour' crime?

So-called 'honour based violence' is a crime or incident, which has or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or community.

'So-called Honour Crime' is a fundamental abuse of Human Rights.

There is no honour in the commission of murder, rape, kidnap and the many other acts, behaviour and conduct which make up 'violence in the name of so-called honour'.

The simplicity of the above definition is not intended in any way to minimise the levels of violence, harm and hurt caused by such acts.

(definition used by the Metropolitan Police Working Group on honour based violence)

What is a forced marriage?

In a forced marriage you are coerced into marrying someone against your will. You may be physically threatened or emotionally blackmailed to do so. It is an abuse of human rights and cannot be justified on any religious or cultural basis.

It’s not the same as an arranged marriage where you have a choice as to whether to accept the arrangement or not. The tradition of arranged marriages has operated successfully within many communities and countries for a very long time.

(Definition from the Foreign and Commonwealth office)

Both 'honour crimes' and forced marriage are forms of domestic violence.

Forced Marriage (civil protection) Act 2007 came into force on 25th November 2008

Recommendations on future work on forced marriage and so-called 'honour' crime

CPS pilot on forced marriage and so-called ‘honour’ crime – findings

Policy for prosecuting domestic violence

West Midlands CPS publishes leaflet on Honour Crimes and Forced Marriages


West Midlands CPS has launched a leaflet with the aim of encouraging more victims and witnesses to report so-called honour crimes and forced marriages.

The leaflet - 'Love, "Honour" and Obey' defines offences of so-called honour crimes and forced marriages, and more importantly provides details of the support that is available to victims of such crimes. It is the first CPS publication of its kind.

West Midlands CPS was selected earlier this year, along with Lancashire, West Yorkshire and London CPS Areas, to be part of a pilot project to identify and monitor forced marriage and so-called honour crime cases. The project runs until March 2008