Honour Based Abuse is an international term used by many cultures for justification of abuse and violence. It is a crime or incident committed in order to protect or defend the family or community ‘honour’.
Honour based abuse will often go hand in hand with forced marriages, although this is not always the case. Honour crimes and forced marriages are already covered by the law, and can involve a range of criminal offences.
Honour Based Abuse is often the collective term used to include Female Genital Mutilation and Forced Marriage.
A forced marriage is a marriage in which one or both spouses do not (or, in the case of some adults with learning or physical disabilities, cannot) consent to the marriage and duress is involved. Duress can include physical, psychological, financial, sexual and emotional pressure.
There is a clear distinction between a forced marriage and an arranged marriage. In arranged marriages, the families of both spouses take a leading role in arranging the marriage but the choice whether or not to accept the arrangement remains with the prospective spouses.
The ‘Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act’ 2014, made it a criminal offence to coerce a person into marriage or to be involved in the deception of entering a person into a marriage in or outside the UK.
Forced Marriage Protection Orders can be sought under section 4A of the Family Law Act 1996 which is tailored to support anyone at risk of being forced into marriage.