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Report on Exploratory Study into Honor Violence Measurement Methods

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2014
37 pages
This report examines the collection of data on the prevalence of "honor violence" - using the prevailing literature, interviews and discussions with experts, a review of relevant surveys, and searches of online and legal sources - and recommendations are offered on initial steps the Federal Government can take to collect data on honor violence.
Honor violence stems from the cultural view that "honor" is rooted in the reputation or social standing of a family, which is based on the behavior and morality of its female members. "Honor violence" is in turn based on the cultural belief that when a female family member violates accepted moral principles, her punishment or death is the only means of restoring a family's honor. Regarding data on the prevalence of this practice, the current study did not find any reliable data summary for the United States; however, there are indications that honor violence is rare compared to other types of crime in the United States. The Office of Violence Against Women (OVW) and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) are currently researching honor violence. No earlier studies were found. Information on honor violence is rarely shared outside the family. Victims may not report their victimization to authorities due to the family's response and the cultural belief that honor violence is not a crime. One recommendation for improving data collection on honor violence is to conduct small, exploratory studies in line with what is being done by the OVW-NIJ study; and conduct training with selected police departments, educational systems, and social service agencies in the identification of honor violence.

Date Published: November 1, 2014