Thames Valley Police have launched the next phase of their Hidden Harm campaign, this time asking everyone to open their eyes to honour based abuse (HBA).
Culture and tradition are not an excuse for abuse
Today (2/7) we’re launching the next phase of our Hidden Harm campaign, this time asking everyone to open their eyes to honour based abuse (HBA).
Thames Valley Police has dealt with 1,200 cases of HBA in the past four years, however these are just the incidents and crimes we know about – it’s likely that many more go unreported.
That’s why we’re running this campaign – to raise awareness of this type of abuse and encourage people to come forward and report their concerns.
HBA is any type of abuse committed to ‘defend’ the perceived ‘honour’ of a family or community.
There are a number of different ways this can manifest itself. For example; someone may be abused by their family for being in a relationship with a person of the same sex or from a different culture, they may not want to take part in an arranged marriage or they may be simply wearing clothing or taking part in activities not considered ‘traditional’.
The abuse doesn’t have to be physical, it can be emotional or sexual and may involve threats of violence, false imprisonment, stalking, forced marriage and in some cases, even murder.
Anyone can be a victim of honour based abuse – it’s not about religion. It’s to do with beliefs and customs and an expectation that an individual should behave in a certain way or they will bring shame or dishonour on their family or the wider community.
Culture and tradition are not an excuse for abuse. If you suspect someone you know may be a victim of HBA or you are being abused yourself, please contact us either on 101 or 999 in an emergency. There’s lots of ways we can help and keeping people safe is always our top priority.
More information about the campaign and honour based abuse, can be found by searching #HiddenHarm or visiting the Thames Valley Police website – www.thamesvalley.police.uk/hiddenharm.
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