The Culturalisation of ‘Honour’-Based Violence and its Impact on Service Provision in Rural Communities

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The ‘culturalisation of violence’ – a process through which culture is credited as being the sole or principal cause of violence – has resulted in ‘honour’-based violence/abuse being commonly (mis) understood and (mis)interpreted as being an imported cultural practice unique to particular black, Asian and minority ethnic communities living in the West. Addressing a vital gap in the literature, this article considers the conceptual shortcomings of these culturalised narratives on honour and ‘honour’-based violence/abuse, as well as the impact that they have upon service provision in rural areas of England and Wales – areas often conceptualised as ‘white spaces’ lacking in ethnic diversity. This article draws upon semi-structured interviews with both victims/survivors and rural front-line service providers. It is argued that under culturalised narratives, not only does ethnicity remain a key indicator for ‘honour’-based violence/abuse cases, but, as such, and given their perceived lack of ethnic diversity, rural regions are also increasingly identified as ‘safe spaces’ to relocate black, Asian and minority ethnic victims/survivors away from the reach of their ‘problematic’ culture. Ultimately, the core contention of this article is that by founding policy, legislative and support responses on culturalised understandings of violence, service providers are destined to fail to meet the intersectional needs of black, Asian and minority ethnic victims/survivors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-391
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Gender-Based Violence
Issue number3
Early online date22 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


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