Honor Killing is the most extreme form of Honor based abuse, which ranges from social isolation, insulting, coercion and forced marriage, and other forms of violence. The origin of Honor Killing can be traced back to the Romanian times when the senior male member within a household retained the right to kill the unmarried or adulterous females. Honor crime was known in medieval Europe where early Jewish law mandated death by stoning an adulterous female and her partner.
An honor killing or shame killing is the homicide of a member of a family by other members, due to the perpetrator’s beliefs that the victims have brought shame or dishonor to the family or has violated the principle of the family or of the religion.
Women are disproportionately the target of honor killing, but men can also experience it. For women forms of dishonor include communicating with unknown men, being in a room with a man who is not a family member, to perceived or actually adultery, running away, premarital pregnancy, or otherwise challenging patriarchal gender norms.
The incidence of honor killing is very difficult to determine and estimates vary widely. In most countries, data on honor killings is not collected systematically and many of these killings are reported by the families as suicides or accidents and registered as such. Although honor killings are often associated with the Asian continent, especially the Middle East and South Asia. They occur all over the world, the methods used in honor killing are of different kinds such as stoning, stabbing, beating, burning, beheading, hanging, throat slashing, lethal acid attacks, shooting and strangulation. The murders are sometimes performed in public to warn other people within the community of the possible consequences.
The UN seems to have done little or no work on the subject, though a report last year to the UN Human Rights Council argued that it should be regarded as amounting to arbitrary execution; “Global statistics show that almost half of female homicide victims are killed by family members or intimate partners, compared with just over five percent of male victims.”
Given the lack of systematic research, there is little alternative to reliance on anecdotal evidence. But this may give a distorted picture. For example, in the British (and similarly other Western) media most cases which come to light have a British angle, occasionally that the crime is committed in Britain, more often than it concerns a family partly in Britain and partly elsewhere. These cases create the impression that honor killing is largely an Indian and Pakistani phenomenon (involving Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs).
Many human rights and women’s rights NGOs touch on the subject. Three which pay it particular attention are Switzerland-based Surgir, Memini, and HBVA (Honor Based Violence Awareness Network), the last two founded by Deeyah Khan, a Norwegian film director and human rights activist of Afghan/Pakistan descent. Read more at “As Maryam’s Tree Stood Witness
” A Fiction Romantic Novel written by Author Ali Kasem