‘Honour’-based violence and forced marriage spotlight

Resources to help professionals working with people experiencing or at risk of ‘honour’-based violence and forced marriage – part of our 2016–2019 Spotlights series that shone a light on the hidden victims of domestic abuse.

People at risk of ‘honour’-based violence (HBV) and forced marriage experience domestic abuse for longer, on average, than those not at risk. They are also more likely to experience harm from multiple perpetrators.

In the fourth of our Spotlights series in 2017, we focussed on the experiences of people at risk of ‘honour’-based violence and forced marriage. We looked at the specific issues and barriers they face in accessing help, and how professionals can best support them.

About SafeLives’ Spotlights series

Our 2016–2019 Spotlights series shone a light on hidden victims of domestic abuse. We explored the experiences of victim groups who face additional barriers to accessing support, and can feel ‘hidden’ from services. Discover insight from survivors, practitioners, academics and other experts, alongside our own research and data.


My husband started the physical abuse, and the other family members soon followed. His family began to give the children expensive gifts and my children began to turn against me... From day one, my mother-in-law, father-in-law, sisters and brothers in law, and then my husband and now children too. What was I going to do?

Amala, survivor

To be honest, I never knew there were services that could support you and help people in my situation. Because to us, for me, it's like a normal thing: I've seen my grandmother, my aunties, my mother going through all that... people just think that is the way it is, that is the way that it's supposed to be. They don't know that there are organisations or people that can help me.

Ada, survivor

Key findings

  • Key findings
    5 years

    is the average time victims experience abuse before accessing support

  • Key findings

    of victims weren't eligible for most benefits, tax credits or housing assistance

  • Key findings

    of victims at risk of HBV were at high risk of serious harm or homicide

    compared to 55% of those not identified at risk of HBV

Your choice

Read the full findings in our report: Your choice: 'honour'-based violence, forced marriage and domestic abuse

Read the report

Resources and guidance

Blogs, webinar and podcasts

The Problem with Forced Marriage Legislation

Maz Idriss discusses some of the points arising from that article about whether the forced marriage legislation has had the desired effect of combating this major human rights violation.

‘Honour’-based violence and risk

Dr Lis Bates writes on risk assessment in 'honour'-based violence and research insights that different types of cases may require adjusted risk assessment tools and responses.

Listen: Ada's story – Rebuilding my life after escaping forced marriage

Listen: Interview with Dr Sundari Anitha – Intersectionality, coercion and forced marriage

Listen: Dr Sundari Anitha – Understanding transnational marriage abandonment

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