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Voices of Women Exposed to Honour-Based Violence : On Vulnerability, Needs and Support from Social Services

  • Olsson, Helén
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2024
DOI: 10.1093/bjsw/bcae044
DiVA - Academic Archive On-line
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Swedish social services play a pivotal role in preventing men’s violence against women, including honour-based violence. This type of family-based violence is based on norms that disregard human rights. Individuals growing up in an honour context have limited possibilities to choose their own paths in life. The study comprises young women aged eighteen to twenty-five who look back on their vulnerable positions and the circumstances resulting in their seeking help from social services. They also share their experiences of the support that they had received from social services. Semi-structured interviews with ten women were conducted. The data were analysed through a qualitative content analysis. The findings show that the interviewees are not a homogenous group; circumstances, needs and exposure varied considerably between participants. Professional attention is necessary when threats ensue after divorce, for example, in the case of a bride price refund. Child perspectives must be better considered in the event of a divorce. Women or families that reject standards of honour are subject to harassment in public by people aiming to coerce them into adopting honour norms. Leaving the family was facilitated if one’s fears were taken seriously and experiences of being met with understanding and being well cared for.

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