HBVA (Honour Based Violence Awareness Network) serves these core functions:
providing an international honour based violence education resource through a digital information portal accessible to all.
convening a global network of experts for the purpose of sharing data, knowledge and experience. Collaboration is key to effective understanding and prevention of honour based violence.
producing training materials for European and US professionals to improve responses to victims within immigrant diaspora communities.
conducting and advancing long term comprehensive research in order to properly and thoroughly understand the extent, causes and risk factors of honour based violence and develop efficient and appropriate responses.
HBVA (Honour Based Violence Awareness Network) is an international digital resource centre working to advance understanding of HBV (honour based violence) and forced marriage through research, documentation, information and training for professionals who may encounter women, girls and men at risk of these forms of abuse in order to suggest good practise in responding to their needs.
HBVA builds and promotes a network of experts, activists, and NGOs from around the world, by establishing partnerships with international activists and groups working in this area in order to facilitate greater collaboration as well as highlighting the essential work of the NGOs activists and grassroots groups on the ground providing hands on assistance to young women and men at risk, with the knowledge in cases like those of Banaz Mahmod, people have died due to inappropriate and poorly-informed responses to their situations.
Honour-based violence (HBV) and forced marriage (FM) are forms of gender violence, which are often associated with South Asian or Middle Eastern cultures. While they are prevalent within these groups, they may also be found in many other ethnic and identity groups. It is important not to essentialise HBV and FM as an exclusively South Asian or Muslim phenomenon, not just because the effects on minority communities, but also because to do so runs the risk of failing to identify similar risk factors where potential victims belong to communities that are not popularly associated with these forms of violence.
This site intends to advise professionals in how to identify and provide an effective response to these forms of violence, and to provide links to organisations with expertise in providing help to people at risk. HBV and FM are often collective crimes, which cannot automatically be dealt with using standard domestic violence procedures as the level of risk and the preferred method of intervention may be differ.
Women and girls who are at risk of HBV or FM may be under close control and surveillance from their close and extended families. When they reach out for professional help it is important to understand that this may be their only chance. It is therefore essential to be aware of these issues and to have a support strategy in place in advance of any appeals for help, and for all professionals, particularly those in front-line positions, to be aware of risk indicators. It is also necessary to create a culture of sensitivity to allow those at risk to be able to approach an organisation for help, through awareness of the barriers, which limit their ability to seek help.
Individuals at risk of HBV and FM have emotional and psychological needs and there is a need for culturally sensitive support as well as practical protection measures. Those who have been forced to sever ties with their families are extremely isolated and vulnerable, particularly those who have been disallowed the ability to form social networks outside the family. Such survivors of HBV and FM need long-term emotional and social support, which provides them with the ability to rebuild their lives, and any protection plans must allow for this.
To provide the best response to issues of HBV and FM, organisations need to find a balance between recognising the particular nature of these forms of abuse and providing culturally appropriate support to victims without excusing abuse in the name of cultural sensitivity. HBV and FM are indeed common practises in many communities, including Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Middle Eastern communities in the UK: however this does not mean they are accepted by all, or even most, members of these communities, and it certainly does not mean that abuse within the family can be considered acceptable where the victim is a member of a minority. HBV and FM are crimes and human rights abuses first and foremost.
HBVA, founded by Norwegian artist and human rights activist Deeyah and Joanne Payton of Cardiff University, provides guidance, links to resources and studies, and also links to organisations that are available to provide practical assistance and advice on a case-by-case basis. It intends to become a comprehensive source of information and research materials in both written and multimedia formats organized into an easily navigated digital resource.
Please note: Honour is the British English spelling and Honor is the American English spelling of the word. On this website you will see this spelling of the word: Honour.