There is neither honour nor justification in these horrific acts and the degradation of a woman’s human rights…
Honour based violence
So-called ‘honour’-based crimes are categorised by the Government as a form of domestic violence. An ‘honour’-based crime is a crime that is, or has been explained by the perpetrator of the crime as being, committed as a consequence of the need to protect or defend the honour of the family.
( Together we can End Violence Against Women and Girls: A Consultation Paper – Home Office, March 2009)
Protecting the honour of family and kin is fundamental to Middle East societies. In a culture in which bonds between people count for so much. Having a good reputation contributes to you and your family members prestige or status. Honour (sheref) it derives from a variety of sources. Hard work, wealth and generosity all bring honour and there is a rigorous compulsion upon women to retain their virginity and later to refrain from extra marital sexual relationships. They have to keep cirh (female honour) free from contamination of all costs but similar restrictions do not apply to men. Considerable numbers of whom visit prostitutes in the town and the cities with comparative freedom with no degradation of a man’s honour because she is nothing anyway.
The Arabic word for virgin (adhra) is a feminine noun used for refer to women only. There is no masculine equivalent for this word. The honour of the entire lineage rests on women’s sexual behaviour. In many Muslim societies there is no hesitation about celebrating a girl’s sexuality in very open ways. The stigma of dishonour of losing one’s honour/virginity could only be washed of by blood and blood alone is the mark of an honour on the wedding night. The blood proud out on the white towel which was held to fluster above people’s heads. The women let out a chorus of shrill you yous and the drums beat. The breasts of the men and the husband could now swell. For honour means the honour of the male to protect and control and the proof of it is in the body of the female.
If you or someone you know is at risk of honour-based violence
Please call KMEWO on 020 7263 1027 or 07748 851125
Freephone 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 2000 247
Call the Police on 999