‘Honour-based’ offences soared by 81% in last five years

Nov 1, 2021 by

by Haroon Siddique, Guardian:

The number of “honour-based” abuse (HBA) offences recorded by English police forces has soared over the past five years, figures suggest.

According to data from the 28 out of 39 constabularies that responded to freedom of information (FoI) requests, the number of HBA cases – including offences such as rape, death threats and assault – rose from 884 in 2016 to 1,599 last year, a rise of 81%.

While some of the increase in HBA offences could be down to more victims coming forward and improved identification of offences by police, Imran Khodabocus, a senior associate at the Family Law Company who represents families in such cases, said the rise was alarming.

He said: “It’s essential education around what honour-based abuse is and how it impacts families is improved across the country. These figures are likely to just show the tip of the iceberg: lockdowns have exacerbated the problem for many and as we continue to get back to normal life, I expect to see even more cases involving honour-based abuse.

“Of course, due to the very nature of these cases, it’s likely many victims will never even think to approach the police and the issues are often not recognised by schools, social services or the police.”

Forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM) are other instances of HBA offences committed, according to the Crown Prosecution Service, “to protect or defend the honour of an individual, family and/or community for alleged or perceived breaches of the family and/or community’s code of behaviour.”

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