This is a police crisis helpline for those wishing to report Honour Based Violence and forced marriage issues. The helpline is not exclusively for victims: anyone who is concerned that a family member, friend or colleague is being affected may call.

Honour based violence (HBV) is a crime or incident which has, or may have been, committed to protect or defend the so-called ‘honour’ of a family and community. HBV is a fundamental abuse of human rights. It is a collection of practices used to control behaviour within families protecting perceived cultural or religious beliefs and so-called ‘honour’. HBV happens when perpetrators feel someone has dishonoured the family and community by stepping outside behaviour accepted by that community. HBV can be distinguished from other forms of violence, as it’s often committed with some degree of approval and collusion from family and community members.

Northumbria Police recognises HBV is a human rights violation contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act 1998 and that HBV involves criminal offences being committed contrary to the laws and freedoms of the United Kingdom. Northumbria Police will support and protect victims and witnesses and ensure any offences identified are fully investigated.

In December 2008 Northumbria Police joined with Durham and Cleveland Police to provide a 24-hour crisis helpline called ‘CHOICE’ for victims of HBV and forced marriage. The helpline is being run by staff who have received specialist training in dealing with calls from anyone reporting HBV and forced marriage issues.

CHOICE Helpline: 0800 5999 365

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