Definitions

Definitions

Forced Marriage

Any marriage which occurs without the full and free consent of both parties to the marriage.

Arranged Marriage

A marriage in which the parents or other relatives of one or both of the intended spouses takes a leading role. However, both parties to the marriage have the final say as to who, when, and if they marry.

Consent

  • Free – when both individuals agree to enter into a marriage without any form of coercion or force
  • Coerced – when one or both individuals agree to a marriage due to external pressures that are imposed upon them by their families, communities, or potential spouse.

Honour Killing

The term honour is a misnomer. There is no honour in taking the life of another individual. However, many individuals continue to use this phrase to justify their controlling and violent actions.

Honour killings are murders that are committed by an individual’s family or community because they feel that the individual has done something (e.g. fallen in love with someone they do not approve of, refused to enter into a forced marriage, etc.) to jeopardize their honour, and the only way they can redeem that honour is by killing the individual responsible.

Importance of Honour (izzat in Urdu)

This term, honour, is significant across all cultures, especially those that are based on patriarchy. The Urdu word for honour, “izzat”, carries an immense weight. This word encompasses a family’s pride and ancestral heritage.  It further secures the family’s status in society. Girls are primarily deemed to be responsible for maintaining the honour of the family, and they may be expected to do so by, for example, obeying their fathers, marrying an individual who is chosen by their families, and obeying their husbands. Any behaviour that does not meet these expectations is considered to bring dishonour to the family. 

Abuse

  • Physical – any action perpetrated by one individual that inflicts pain on the body of another person.  Examples of physical abuse include: slapping, hitting, beating, strangling, etc.
  • Sexual– any action perpetrated by one individual that inflicts pain on, and subjects another person to sexual trauma. This usually occurs when one person forcibly engages in a non-consensual sexual act with another person. Examples of sexual abuse include: unwanted touching, rape, various forms of sexual demands, etc.
  • Emotional – any action perpetrated by one individual that inflicts mental stress or damage to the emotional and mental wellbeing of another person. Examples of emotional abuse include: manipulation, name calling, belittling in front of others, making threats to take away children, restricting freedom and mobility, inducing guilt, taking away someone’s passport, and freezing, monitoring and/or limiting access to financial resources, etc.

Confidentiality

This is the ability to maintain an individual’s trust that the information she or he shares is accessible only to authorized people who need to know this information to efficiently provide services to assist the client, and who are also bound by the same requirement for confidentiality. Maintaining a client’s confidentiality is an essential component of all services provided.

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