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Juno Women's Aid

Understanding what Honour-Based Abuse means

NCVS has been asked to raise awareness of Honour-Based Violence, Abuse and Forced Marriage.

One of the local voluntary sector organisations who provides support to people affected by these practices is Juno Women's Aid. In this blog, the organisation provides an overview about what we mean by these terms and the support they can offer.

Please note - The content covered in this blog is of a sensitive nature and any views expressed in this blog are that of the organisation Juno Women's Aid.

Guest blog from Juno Women's Aid, Nottingham...

The government’s definition of honour-based abuse (HBA) is, “a collection of practices used to control behaviour within families in order to protect perceived cultural and religious beliefs and/or honour”.

Violence can occur when perpetrators perceive that a relative has shamed the family and/or community by breaking their honour code.

Forced marriage is a manifestation of HBA, as is early marriage, chastity and virginity testing; they are often committed with some degree of approval and/or collusion from family and/or community members.

Families organise the marriage, but the child/adult has no choice over whether they marry and/or to whom. There is a lack of valid consent from one/both parties. Often, they will not meet the chosen partner prior to marriage. Coercion and threats are factors in removing the person’s freewill, an abuse of human rights veiled as religious/cultural practices.

Thing to consider

The victim may also have been threatened by someone else and/or live in fear, for example, fearing the head of the family, or brothers. In addition, the victim may be forced to comply in order to access education and a career. Premeditation, family conspiracy and the belief that the victim deserves to die is prevalent in cases of HBA and women and younger relatives may aid, conspire, abet and/or participate in the abuse/murder.

HBA disproportionately affects women and girls, but men and boys can also be victims.

Crimes that may be committed as part of HBA include kidnap, assault, offences of violence – GBH, ABH, battery, etc. – false imprisonment, child abduction, rape, threats to kill, and coercive control.

How Juno Women's Aid can help:

Juno Women's Aid in Nottingham provides a personalised package of practical support including advocacy, comprehensive risk assessments and safety planning to address the specific risks to HBA and forced marriage. Referrals are made to Multi Agency Referral Assessment Conferences (MARAC) and information and advice is given in relation to women's rights by law. The organisation also runs specialist Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) refuge accommodation and provides access to a 24-hour freephone helpline (0808 800 0340).

To find out more, visit the Juno Women's Aid website.


Date Posted: 
Monday, 26 July, 2021

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