In a world where family ties are considered the strongest and purest forms of love, a paradox manifested in honor violence still exists to this day. The horrors of honor violence go against humans’ primitive nature where family members feel obliged and justified in harming their own flesh and blood for the sake of their so-called honor. Unfortunately, such horrors are often overlooked to this day and in some communities even accepted and applauded. Even though Women are usually the main target for this kind of violence, men aren’t exempt from receiving it either.
Forms of honor violence
Honor violence acts can be varied in forms of physical, emotional, psychological, or verbal abuse. They include many forms of physical assault, sexual assault, rape, acid attacks, forced marriage, and even kidnapping. Such acts also involve genital mutilation, psychological pressure, and abandonment. However, the most brutal form of honor-based violence can be considered murder and forced suicide. Moreover, though many cases aren’t usually reported, The United Nations Population Fund estimates that every year 5,000 women are being victims of honor killings from all around the globe.
Reasons for honor related violence
There is no excuse that could even justify this inhumane behavior. Yet, still many communities and families do them for several reasons. Deviating from cultural or traditional norms and expectations is usually the main cause. This includes rebelling against traditional forms of behavior, dress, or occupation. Expressing sexuality, having contact or engaging in sexual activity with the opposite sex, and having an extramarital affair can also be used as an excuse to initiate such a response. There have been many cases in which rape victims faced this kind of abuse by the hands of their families. Also, in some cases, divorcing or seeking a divorce or separation would often lead to honor-based violence.
Moreover, refusing an arranged marriage or showing signs of homosexuality is the main reason for honor-based violence against men. Another cause is the conflicts regarding inheritance or not partaking a role in honor-based violence against another person.
However, no matter what these excuses are, nothing can warrant or either come close to even justify this barbaric mentality.
Locations where honor violence takes place
Even though most of these acts occur in the Middle East, South Asia, and Muslim-majority countries, such acts arent limited to them. Reports have proved that they also take place in the UK, the US, Sweden, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, and Uganda.
In the united kingdom, over 11000 honor related acts of violence were committed between 2010 and 2014. However, statistics have proved that those numbers are nothing compared to the cases in India and Pakistan where almost 1000 women are killed in this manner annually.
Honor violence and culture
It is easy to look at the statistics and point the blame on religion or even Muslims for this vicious problem. However, history proved that the truth is rooted in a yet another deeper level. In addition, No religion truly advocates such behavior, and religious leaders usually condemn it openly. Moreover, Since these acts also occur among Christian minorities in Arab countries, as well as among the Sikh communities, it is safe to rule out religion as a main common cause.
Hence it can be concluded that The main problem lies within the culture of the communities themselves. Communities that still view women as items and mere vessels for the family’s ‘honor’ are one of the main reasons such actions still exist to this day.
In communities that value honor above everything else, taking action against whoever stains it is a must. Also, When children are seen as simple belongings in the eyes of their family, they no longer truly have the freedom to act on their own impulses. Therefore, these families believe that they are justified in taking action and avenging their broken “honor” in any means necessary.
Ways of stopping honor killing
There is no easy way to exterminate a thousand-year-old ideology. However, there are ways of slowly decreasing this tragedy and saving hundreds of lives in the process. The first step should be putting laws to punish the abusers; since there are still countries to this day, like Jordan, where honor related murders arent punishable by the law. Additionally, there should be campaigns that spread awareness on the issue and that fights against this merciless mentality. Fighting against misogyny is also vital in preventing them,
All in all, Honor violence is one of the most horrendous forms of violence. Instead of protecting their child from the horrors of the world, fathers, brothers, mothers, uncles, aunts, and family members proudly infect them on their flesh and blood. This cultural barbaric mentality should be fought against and stopped or else countless innocents will fall victim to it.
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