Erin Robbins


Honor-based violence occurs commonly within a variety of cultures and communities. Definitive and reliable worldwide estimates of incidences of honor violence do not exist, but most recent estimates by the UN report the number of honor killings alone at five thousand per year.Whereas media attention focuses primarily on honor killings themselves, all honor-based acts of violence reflect social and cultural norms of honor in the contexts in which they occur. Violent crimes motivated by a desire to preserve or restore family or community honor include, aside from murder, forced marriage, enslavement, abuse or mutilation, and the deprivation of certain freedoms such as access to education. In most cases, the victims of honor-based violence are female and the perpetrators their male relatives, and the commission of these crimes is typically justified by their perpetrators as having been warranted by certain behaviors deemed unacceptable or inappropriate on the part of the victim. Ultimately, the boundaries of acceptable behavior for a woman are dictated by culturally-ingrained codes of honor which effectively rob her of her autonomy over her own body and sexuality.