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Support for honour based violence victims

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Where can I get help if I'm a victim of honour based violence?

  • If you're in immediate danger, call 999
  • If you need non-emergency police assistance, call 101 for the Greater Manchester police switchboard's 24-hour service
  • Forced Marriage Unit - offers help if you're being forced to marry or scared you may be forced into marriage.
  • The Guardian Project - provides help and advice to young children and girls up to the age of 21. It also provides support to families affected by FGM as well as professionals in risk assessing and signposting to appropriate services: 07449 651677. Still offering support at this time on the following temporary phone numbers: 01706 868993 or 07862 279289.
  • Rochdale Women’s Welfare Association - support for  women experiencing racial inequalities affected by forced marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM) or sexual assault. Telephone support is available Monday–Friday between 10am–2pm on 01706 860157. Offices are open for small group sessions – please contact for details.
  • Karma Nirvana - support for victims of forced marriage and honour based abuse.

What is honour based violence or abuse (HBVA)?

HBVA is a collection of actions which are used to control behaviour and exert power within families to protect perceived cultural and religious beliefs and honour.

Such violence can occur when an abuser perceives that someone has shamed the family or community by breaking their honour code. The individual is being punished for actually, or allegedly, undermining what the family or community believes to be the correct code of behaviour.

So-called 'honour based violence' is a fundamental abuse of human rights. If a child or young person under the age of 18 is at risk of HBVA, it's a safeguarding issue and they could be at risk of significant harm.

Types of HBVA include:

  • Forced Marriage
  • Female Genital Mutilation 
  • Honour Killing
  • Gender select abortion - often aborting a female foetus
  • Dowry abuse – pressuring mainly brides to get gifts, high value items, land or property from their own family to give to the groom or the groom's family. It can take place before, during and anytime after the marriage
  • Domestic violence - physical, sexual, emotional or financial abuse
  • Sexual harassment and sexual violence - rape and sexual assault or threat of rape and sexual assault
  • Threats to kill
  • Social exclusion or rejection and emotional pressure
  • House arrest - not being allowed to leave the house alone
  • Excessive restrictions of freedom - for example, not able to choose their own clothes, diet or leisure and social activities
  • Denial of further education or employment
  • Limited or no access to the telephone, internet or passport and other key documents
  • Isolation from friends and own family

Who's at risk of honour based violence?

Women and girls are most at risk of becoming victims of HBVA. You're also at greater risk if you're:

  • A member of the LGBT community
  • Considered too 'western' by your family or community members
  • Having an interfaith relationship
  • Seeking a divorce or separation against your family’s approval
  • Pregnant outside of marriage or have given birth outside of marriage
  • Marrying a person of your own choice without your family's approval  
  • Accessing higher education without your family's approval



  • In an emergency, dial 999 and ask for help.
  • When you can't talk, dial 999 then press 55 when prompted.
  • For non-emergency police assistance, dial 101 for the Greater Manchester Police Switchboard (24-hour service).

​Domestic abuse contact details - see who can help with domestic violence and abuse.