Honour based violence

The Police definition of Honour Based Violence (HBV) is “a crime or incident which has or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or the community”.

HBV includes issues such as Forced Marriages (FM), Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Honour Killings and Dowry Related Abuse.

Forced Marriages (FM)

For most of us getting married is an exciting experience, something to look forward to. However, if you are forced to marry someone against your will a happy event transforms into a nightmare.

You are a victim of Forced Marriage if:

  • You are threatened or beaten to make sure you get married
  • You are told that you are bringing shame to your family if you don’t want to marry
  • You are taken abroad to get married without having knowledge of it

If you or anyone you know is at risk of Forced Marriage please click here for more information on what to do.

Remember, Forced Marriage is a violation of human rights, a form of domestic and/or child abuse and there are services that can help you.

If you are in immediate danger ring the Police on 999.

You can also contact the Forced Marriage Unit on 020 7008 0151 (between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday) or on 020 7008 1500 (for out-of-hour emergencies).

You can email the Forced Marriage Unit fmu@fco.gov.uk (they will reply within 24 hours). The Forced Marriage Unit can help you to find somewhere to live if you don’t want to go through with the marriage, protect you from harm, and offer advice in case you are going to travel overseas.

You can visit www.karmanirvana.org.uk, a national charity that supports victims of Honour Based Violence and Forced Marriages. Their helpline is 0800 5999 247.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines female genital mutilation as: all procedures (not operations) which involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or injury to the female genital organs whether for cultural or other non-therapeutic reasons” (WHO, 1996)

There are 4 known types of FGM, ranging from a symbolic prick to the clitoris or prepuce to the fairly extensive removal and narrowing of the vagina opening. All these forms of FGM have been found in the UK.

FGM is sometimes known as ‘female genital cutting’ or female circumcision. Communities tend to use local names for referring to this practice, including ‘Sunna’.

Remember, FGM is a violation of human rights, a form of domestic and child abuse and there are services that can help you.

Download here the leaflet with information about FGM

What to do if you are worried you or someone you know may be at risk of FGM

  • Talk to someone you trust, a teacher or a school nurse. They are here to help and protect you.
  • Remember that no one is allowed to hurt you physically or emotionally and FGM is not allowed in the United Kingdom. It is illegal.
  • If you have had FGM done, you can seek medical advice and health from specialist health services. There are 15 specialist clinics around the UK and in some of these you can have a reversal procedure. Click here for more information

If you are in immediate danger ring the police on 999

You can also contact

  • Northamptonshire County Council Customer Service at 0300 126 1000
  •  your local Children’s Services or Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (www.lscbnorthamptonshire.org.uk)
  •  your Local Police Child Protection Unit at 101
  •  NSPCC on 0808 800 5000
  •  FORWARD on 0208 960 4000
  • Childline on https://www.childline.org.uk or 0800 1111

In addition to the local domestic violence services that can offer advice and support, in Northamptonshire we have a specialist FGM Service (Northamptonshire Flower – 07835 489 907, www.northamptonshireflower.org)