Honour-based abuse

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Offences that may cover honour-based abuse, specifically female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, and preventative strategies for each behaviour

First published
Written by College of Policing

Female genital mutilation

Relevant offences that may cover the behaviour (dependent on the circumstances of the case)

  • Offences under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003.
  • Under this Act, it is an offence for any person to perform female genital mutilation (FGM) or to assist a girl to carry out FGM on herself. It is also an offence to assist a non-UK national or resident to carry out FGM outside the UK on a UK national or permanent UK resident.
  • It is also an offence to fail to protect a girl from FGM. If an offence of FGM is committed against a girl under the age of 16, each person who is responsible for the girl at the time FGM occurred will be liable.

Preventative strategies

Forced marriage

Relevant offences that may cover the behaviour (dependent on the circumstances of the case)

  • A person commits an offence if they use violence, threats or any other form of coercion for the purpose of causing another person to enter into a marriage, and believes, or ought reasonably to believe, that the conduct may cause the other person to enter into the marriage without free and full consent.
  • This might also constitute coercive and controlling behaviour depending on relationships and ages of those involved.

Preventative strategies