Honour-related violence and oppression are a type of male violence towards women. Honour-related violence and oppression are directed towards an individual – usually a girl or a woman – who, according to their own group opinion, has acted in a manner which may bring shame or has brought shame upon the family, relative or group honour. Its purpose is to prevent the group’s reputation from being lost or tarnished, and also to restore the group’s reputation and honour.
The control can stretch from everyday limitations regarding, for instance, leisure activities or clothing to marriage and education. The focus is on the women’’s sexuality and behaviour.
Boys can also be targeted, e.g. by being brought up to exercise control over their female family members or by themselves being forced to marry against their will.
If one fails to conform to the standards and rules which the family/relatives/group have or i one is suspected of having broken these, the punishment may be that one is frozen out, isolated, threatened or ill-treated, and in the most extreme cases this violence can lead to death. Sometimes, if the risks are too great, the individual needs to completely sever all contact with relatives and friends.
Heterosexuality as the standard is a central feature of the honour concept, and this means that lgbt-persons risk being subjected to threats and violence if they live openly. They are thus a particularly exposed group with regard to honour-related violence and oppression.
Somaya considers that honour-related violence and oppression always arise in a collective situation. We begin from an inter-sectional perspective where e.g. gender, class, ethnicity and socio-financial conditions are involved and where individuals in a group constellation can be victims as well as offenders.