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Not domestic violence or cultural tradition: is honour-based violence distinct from domestic violence?

Idriss, MM (2017) Not domestic violence or cultural tradition: is honour-based violence distinct from domestic violence? Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law. ISSN 1469-9621

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Abstract

This paper addresses an important conceptual question surrounding the categorisation of honour-based violence (hereafter ‘HBV’) – Is HBV a subspecies of domestic violence (hereafter ‘DV’)? According to academic commentators such as Reddy, Aujla and Gill, HBV falls within the broad spectrum of DV. Utilising data extracted from interviews conducted with 30 key agents, this paper will seek to provide incontrovertible evidence that HBV is different to DV because the characteristics it presents offer some differences. Furthermore, the overall strategies used to investigate HBV by UK law enforcement agencies differ to that of DV. Being this specific about HBV does not necessarily mean that one succumbs to cultural-essentialist assumptions about the prevalence of such violence in particular communities either. Rather, an understanding that HBV can be different will help identify the serious dangers it presents and the strategies needed to support victims.

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