Community Safety

Hidden Harm and honour based abuse

Culture and tradition are not an excuse for abuse

The Safer Slough Partnership (SSP) is supporting the Thames Valley Police Hidden Harm campaign, by asking everyone to open their eyes to honour based abuse (HBA).

Honour based abuse is any type of abuse committed against a person to protect or defend the perceived ‘honour’ of a family or community. The abuse can be emotional, physical or sexual and can involve threats of violence, imprisonment, stalking, forced marriage, rape and even murder.

Honour based abuse is not about religion. It’s to do with beliefs and customs and an expectation that people should behave in a certain way or they will bring shame or dishonour on their family or the wider community.

There have been more than 1,200 cases of abuse in the name of ‘honour’ in Thames Valley since 2014 (306 were reported in Slough alone). It is likely that many more offences have been committed but not reported.

Signs of honour based abuse

Honour based abuse could be happening to someone you know so it’s important you know some of the warning signs to look out for:

  • seeming withdrawn or poorly performing at school or work
  • having their movements controlled, regular family disputes or running away from home
  • signs of physical injury or self-harm.

Reporting honour based abuse

If you think someone you know may be a victim of honour based abuse, call the police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. There are lots of ways the police can help and they will always take you seriously. For more information search #HiddenHarm.

You can also contact Karma Nirvana for advice and support. Karma Nirvana is a British Human Rights Charity which supports all victims of so called honour based abuse and forced marriage. They can be reached via telephone on 0800 5999 247 or via email or post through their website.