‘Honour’-based violence

Heshu Yunes

‘Honour’-based violence and ‘honour’ killings are a form of violence against women which currently occur predominantly amongst populations from the Middle East and South Asia, although they may occur in other areas, and historically have been recorded in Southern Europe.

‘Honour’ works to restrict women’s autonomy, particularly sexual autonomy within male-dominated societies which place a high value on women’s chastity. Within ‘honour’ crimes, families may collaborate to commit violence against a relative who is thought to have violated the restrictions around female behaviour. Such violations might include dress or make-up which is not approved by the family, resisting an arranged marriage, seeking divorce, reporting domestic violence, although some so-called offences may appear trivial.

Since the murder of Heshu Yones, IKWRO have been heavily involved in raising the profile of crimes related to ‘honour’, and in increasing the profile and understanding of these forms of violence.

The need for such efforts was demonstrated in the murder of Banaz Mahmod in 2005, which displayed failings within the police to apprehend the risks attached to family violence with a  relationship to ‘honour’. IKWRO have been commended by the Association of Chief Police Officers on account of their expertise in ‘honour’ based  crimes.


This post is also available in: Persian