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Crimes of the community, honour - based violence in the UK


Éditeur : Centre for Social Cohesion Date & Lieu : 2008, London
Préface : Pages : 168
Traduction : ISBN : 978-1-903386-64-4
Langue : AnglaisFormat : 190x245 mm
Code FIKP : Liv. Ang.Thème : Sociologie

Présentation
Table des Matières Introduction Identité PDF
Crimes of the community, honour - based violence in the UK

Crimes of the community, honour-based violence in the UK

James Brandon

Centre for Social Cohesion

In recent years, honour crimes have received an increasing amount of interest from the media, the police and politicians. This has been fuelled by the extensive coverage of the murder of several young Kurdish and Pakistani women by their families. This growing public concern has been largely welcomed by women’s groups and has prompted the government to take steps to tackle these crimes. However the media’s focus on honour killings and, to a lesser extent, forced marriages and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has obscured the true scale of honour-based crime. Honour killings represent only the tip of the iceberg in terms of violence and abuse perpetrated against women in the name of honour.



INTRODUCTION

In recent years, honour crimes have received an increasing amount of interest from the media, the police and politicians. This has been fuelled by the extensive coverage of the murder of several young Kurdish and Pakistani women by their families. This growing public concern has been largely welcomed by women’s groups and has prompted the government to take steps to tackle these crimes. However the media’s focus on honour killings and, to a lesser extent, forced marriages and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has obscured the true scale of honour-based crime. Honour killings represent only the tip of the iceberg in terms of violence and abuse perpetrated against women in the name of honour.

This study shows that honour killings, domestic violence, forced marriage and FGM are not isolated practices but are instead part of a self-sustaining social system built on ideas of honour and cultural, ethnic and religious superiority. As a result of these ideas, every day around the UK women are being threatened with physical violence, rape, death, mutilation, abduction, drugging, false imprisonment, withdrawal from education and forced marriage by their own families. This is not a one-time problem of first-generation immigrants bringing practices from ‘back home’ to the UK. Instead honour violence is now, to all intents and purposes, an indigenous and self-perpetuating phenomenon which
is carried out by third and fourth generation immigrants who have been raised and educated in the UK.

This report focuses on four aspects of honour-based violence:
- Forced marriage
- Domestic violence
- Honour killings
- Female Genital Mutilation

Many of these problems are common to all societies. Domestic violence and ‘crimes of passion’ exist worldwide. However, honour crimes differ significantly from other outwardly similar crimes. While typical incidents of domestic violence involve men using force against their wives, honour-based abuses regularly involve a woman’s own sons, brothers and sisters, as well as members of their extended family and in-laws. Similarly, the pre-planned and ritualised nature of much of this violence (particularly in the case of honour-killings and FGM) makes such behaviour distinct from other ad-hoc forms of violence against women.

This study explains how and why many British women, and indeed many men, are told that they are not allowed the right to be independent, to have control over their own bodies and who are being denied, often through force, an opportunity to choose their own destiny. The report concludes with recommendations on what the government can do to prevent these abuses.

1 Some of the most frequently cited killings have been those of Rukhsana Naz, a 19-year old woman of Pakistani origin in Derby in 1998, Heshu Yones, a 16-year old Kurdish girl in North London in 2003, and Banaz Mahmod, a 20-year old Kurdish woman in South London in 2006. The Guardian: ‘Love, honour and obey – or die’, by Jason Burke. October 8
2000. http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,379174,00.html



Chapter 1

Origins of honour

Introduction
Honour is a fluid concept which has been widely interpreted by different societies, cultures and classes throughout history to promote behaviour which is seen as beneficial to the community. At various times honour has been equated with attributes as diverse as bravery or cunning, strength or wisdom, vengefulness or mercy. In all societies, honour has both a private and a public aspect. On one hand it describes an individual’s ‘self-respect’; how a person sees himself and his relative value in society. But at the same time, measures of honour also dictate the extent to which society accepts a person’s self-worth and help determine the level of status and material benefits which it accords him as a result.

Sexual honour
The form of honour dealt with in this study arises from ideas that the reputation and social standing of an individual, a family or a community is based on the behaviour and morality of its female members. Like other forms of honour, this concept does not exist in a vacuum but rather as a central part of a complex social structure which governs relationships between different families, genders and social units within a given society.

- The origins of an idea

Anthropologists have suggested a number of reasons for the development of ideas that the honour of an individual or a group is determined by the behaviour of women. Many speculate that this behaviour evolved because early man wanted to be sure that the children he helped raise, gathered food for and protected were carrying his genes. The most obvious way for him to do this was to ensure that ‘his’ woman did not have sex either immediately prior to or after his coupling with her. Therefore, researchers suggest, men who controlled their women came to be seen as strong, high-status leaders of society; able to prey on the sexual partners …



The Centre for Social Cohesion

The Centre for Social Cohesion is a non-partisan thinktank that was set up by Civitas in 2007 to examine issues related to community cohesion in Britain. Headquartered in London, it was founded to promote new thinking that can help bring Britain’s ethnic and religious communities closer together while strengthening British traditions of openness, tolerance and democracy.

James Brandon is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Cohesion.

Salam Hafez is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Cohesion.




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