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Harmful Practices

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So what is Domestic Violence/abuse

Harmful traditional practices are forms of violence which have been committed primarily against women and girls in certain communities and societies for so long that they are considered, or presented by perpetrators, as part of accepted cultural practice. RISE can delivery help, advice and support on the following issues but we recognise that this list is not exhaustive of harmful practices that women and girls face across the world


  • 'Honour Based Violence'
  • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
  • Forced marriage

The concept of 'honour' is for some communities deemed extremely important. To compromise a family's 'honour' is to bring dishonour and shame and this can have severe consequences.

FGM is a form of child abuse and an abuse of female adults (and is usually thought of as a form of 'honour' violence) and causes long lasting and psychological damage.  It can also be known as Female Circumcision and Female Genital Cutting.


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The definition that we use for Forced Marriage is when one of more parties do not consent to the marriage or consent is being obtained using duress.

Forcing someone into a marriage is a criminal offence in the UK and trying to take someone out of the country to be forced into a marriage without their consent is also illegal.

'Honour Based Violence/Abuse'

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Honour based violence is a form of domestic abuse which is perpetrated in the name of ‘honour’. It often involves family/community members colluding to ‘punish’ a victim for behaving in a way that they believe has brought shame and dishonour to the family/community.

So-called honour based violence is a crime or incident, which has or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or community. Honour can be seen to be undermined by many things; including: a woman having a boyfriend; rejecting a forced marriage; pregnancy outside of marriage; interfaith relationships; seeking divorce, inappropriate dress or make-up and even kissing in a public place.

So-called honour based violence can exist in any culture. Most victims are women but men can also be victims. It us important to understand that this is a crime which is not only committed by men, sometimes female relatives will support, incite or assist. It is also not unusual for younger relatives to be selected to undertake the abuse as a way to protect senior members of the family. So-called honour based violence is against the law and support is available to help you keep safe.

Everyone can sometimes feel that they are unable to live their lives the way they want to because of reactions from friends and family. However if you are scared that your actions may lead to violence from your family and the community you may be experiencing so-called ‘honour based’ violence.

  • Disagreeing to a forced marriage
  • Being gay
  • Being raped
  • Dating a male or female from a different religion or culture
  • Kissing a partner in public
  • Becoming pregnant outside of marriage
  • Other behaviour that may not be considered traditional within a particular culture

Most honour based violence (HBV) is perpetrated by men against women however males can be targeted if they are believed to be supporting a victim or if they themselves are gay for example.

Honour based violence and abuse cuts across all cultures, nationalities, faith groups and communities; usually where a culture is heavily male dominated.

Relatives including females may conspire, aid, abet or participate in honour based violence or abuse, for what might seem a trivial transgression.

Rumours of such behaviour can be enough to trigger honour based violence (HBV) or murder.

This is not a crime which is perpetrated by men only, often female relatives will incite and assist. Younger relatives are sometimes put forward to undertake the abuse as a way to ensure older family members are protected. Sometimes contract killers will also be employed.

It is thought that there are approximately 12 reported honour killings each year in the UK

Female Genital mutilation

Are you worried that a child may be at risk of Female Genital Mutilation?  Are you a child worried about FGM?  Signs that FGM may be planned include plans for a long holiday with a special celebration about becoming a woman, and your family may talk of 'pinching your bottom'


Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is also known as female circumcision or female genital cutting. FGM has no health benefits, and it harms girls and women in many ways. It involves removing and damaging healthy and normal female genital tissue, and interferes with the natural functions of girls’ and women’s bodies.

FGM is defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as “all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons”.


Get medical help with the complications caused by FGM

FGM has no health benefits for girls and women, and procedures can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later cysts, infections, infertility as well as complications in childbirth.

Women and girls who are experiencing complications from FGM can get medical help either through the doctor’s surgery where they are registered or by contacting one of the clinics listed under Medical Help on this page.


If you are pregnant

If you are pregnant and have had FGM or been circumcised, it’s important that you register with a midwife as soon as you know you are pregnant. You can find a midwife through your local clinic.

Midwives have experience of supporting all women and will understand the issues for FGM. Your midwife can refer you to any specialist services you may need including “opening” surgery.

Medical advice and treatment is confidential.

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Forced marriarge

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There are often links between forced marriage (FM) and honour based violence (HBV) though HBV can occur where there is no evidence of a FM and FM can be motivated by reasons other than honour, such as finances / visa application.

Our staff are fully trained to support you with this issue.


If you are feeling pressurised into marrying someone, or you feel that you have no say in the decision, you are being forced into a marriage.  Whether the marriage is taking place abroad or here in the UK, it is important to understand that you have the right to say no, and that support is available.

A forced marriage is when you feel that you can not say ‘no’ to the marriage. Both men and women, of different ages, communities and backgrounds can be victims of a forced marriage. It is important to remember that forced marriage is not a ‘cultural or religious’ issue, it can be experienced by people from different cultural groups, and is condemned by every major religion.


It is important not to confuse ‘forced’ marriage with ‘arranged’ marriage. An arranged marriage is when the families are involved in helping to choose the marriage partner, but it is the choice of both the bride and groom whether they want to get married or not. A forced marriage is when they have no choice or feel that they have no choice.


Forced Marriage Protection Orders have been introduced to protect victims from being forced into marriage. An order can also be made to protect someone who has already been forced into marriage to help remove them from the situation.


The FMU (Forced Marriage Unit) can tell you how to ask the court for a Forced Marriage Protection Order. Each order is unique, and is designed to protect you according to your individual circumstances. For example, the court may order someone to hand over your passport or reveal where you are. In an emergency, an order can be made to protect you immediately.


Call into the One Stop shop

The One Stop Shop is not open without an appointment currently due to Covid 19  but we'll let you know as soon as we are open fully again - you can phone us 24/7 on our crisis helpline number

Here to Help 24/7

Our expert service is fully integrated and seamless.  Whether you need help with domestic violence or at risk of forced marriage. If you've experienced sexual violence or you're being stalked.

We'll bring you the support and advocacy that you need, building on your strengths and supporting you to make lasting change in your life.

Our services are currently being affected by Covid 19 restrictions but we've moved our support and contact to video, phone and text.  And once we re-open the One Stop Shop you will be able to drop in once again.


02920 460 566

RISE One Stop Shop, Cardiff Royal Infirmary, Block 24, Longcross Street, Cardiff, CF24 0JT
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