Report online or call us on 101. Always call 999 in an emergency.

Honour Based Abuse (HBA)

'Honour' Based Abuse (HBA) is a crime or incident committed in order to defend family or community 'honour'.

There is no honour in threatening or harming others with violence.

HBA is not a form of violence but is the reason or motive given or assumed for violence.

Examples of violence that can be used to protect a family honour may include murder, unexplained death (suicide), fear of or actual forced marriage, domestic abuse, child abuse, rape, kidnap, false imprisonment, threats to kill, assault, harassment and forced abortion.

In Sussex a small number of women and men experience violence and threats from their family or community to protect perceived family ‘honour’.

There is no religious or cultural basis to the violence.

It is a crime and Sussex Police will take any information relating to this subject very seriously.

If you are in fear of this kind of violence, or believe that someone you know may be suffering, do not under estimate the seriousness of the situation – we can and will help.


Warning signs

  • Education: Truancy, decline in performance or punctuality, low motivation at school, poor exam results, withdrawn from education, not allowed to attend extra-curricular activities.
  • Health: Self harm, attempted suicide, eating disorders, depression, isolation, substance misuse.
  • Police involvement: Other young people within the family reported missing, reports of domestic violence, female genital mutilation, and individual reported for offences.
  • Family history: Criticism of the victim for adopting non traditional dress / make up styles. Siblings forced to marry, early marriage of siblings, family disputes, and unreasonable restrictions “house arrest”.
  • Employment: Poor performance, poor attendance, limited career choices, not allowed to work, and unable to attend business trips.
  • Friends: Broken communication between victim and friend.


Victims of HBA

If you are worried that you or someone you know is a victim of HBA, please contact us immediately.

This can be done:

Remember to always call 999 if you or someone else is in immediate danger.

Any reports of HBA will be provided to specially trained officers in our Safeguarding Investigation Units.

You can also give a report to us anonymously – we will still record and investigate offences even if you do not want to give your details.


Further advice and support

The below agencies can be provide further information on HBA.

Karma Nirvana supports victims of HBA and Forced Marriage.

The Halo Project provides support for victims and advice for agencies.

The Freedom Charity offers a 24 hour helpline service to provide support and protection of victims of abuse.

The Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO) mission is to protect Middle Eastern and Afghan women and girls who are at risk of HBA, forced marriage, child marriage, female genital mutilation and domestic abuse. Their services have been extended to several vulnerable communities in the UK.