Honour-Based Violence Symposium
Symposium on 'The Shame of "Honour-Based" Violence – Issues, Tensions and Challenges'
21 June 2013
A one day symposium organised by the International Law and Human Rights Unit, Family, Gender and Equality Unit and the Criminal Justice Unit.
Honour-based violence (HBV) is a common occurrence in various cultures and societies and takes many forms. However, defining it is not a straightforward task. This is because cultural understandings of the term vary depending on who is the perpetrator and what the perceived transgressions of social norms leading to the act are.
Broadly speaking, HBV refers to acts representing various types of gender-based violence, predominantly against girls and women, and characterised by claimed motivation to preserve familial codes of honour. Moreover, the dishonourable and shameful behaviour that triggers such acts of violence need not be actual, it can be merely perceived or suspected.
HBV, although a pervasive phenomenon, is most prevalent in more 'collectivist' communities where the sentiment of honour is lived out openly before other people. In such a context, any dishonourable conduct of an individual is taken to reflect negatively upon the rest of the family and other members of the community.
Incidences of HBV even occur in various social contexts within Western countries, such as the UK, where such 'collectivist' communities are present.