Honour Based Abuse has nothing to do with honour and everything to do with control, abuse, discrimination and inequality; committed within the family and, often, the wider community.

Incidents of Honour Based Abuse occur when a family member/s and/or community members believe that an individual has brought shame to said family or community. The abusers believe that they been shamed or dishonoured by a family member disobeying the rules laid out for them, more often in relation to their intimate relationships, sexuality, gender identity or religious choices. The most common example involves a young person choosing to date someone outside of  characteristics permitted by their family or refusing to agree to a forced marriage.

Honour Based Abuse is not isolated to specific ethnic groups or faith based communities; it can be committed by men and women, towards men and women, anywhere in the country. Cornwall is not immune to this type of abuse and Safer Cornwall are dedicated to ensuring that all of its employees are trained in identifying potential incidents of Honour Based Abuse and responding safely and appropriately to all cases.

If you , or someone you know is experiencing Honour Based Abuse there are a variety of dedicated support services that you can contact for support, both nationally and locally, as well as the Police.


Safer Futures, the integrated Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Service, in Cornwall will support you in accessing safety, away from your abusers.

If you have experienced sexual violence or abuse, you can also contact the SARC (Sexual Abuse Referral Centre) for specialist support.

Devon and Cornwall Police can refer you to the above services, whether you choose to proceed with a criminal case or just call them for help.

Honour Based Abuse is often shrouded in family loyalty and can be very difficult for the person experiencing the abuse, to identify and disclose. If you need further information for yourself or someone else you can contact Karma Nirvana; an award-winning national charity supporting people impacted by Honour Based Abuse.

You can contact them via their website or on their national helpline: 0800 5999 247





Pages updated by Anna MacGregor and Liz Howard
About the Author



E: lhoward@cornwall.gov.uk

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Safer Cornwall are a working partnership involving: