The experience of interactional justice for victims of ‘honour’-based violence and abuse reporting to the police in England and Wales.

Aisha K. Gill , N. Mulvihill, G. Gangoli, M. Hester

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Interactional justice is concerned with how far victims feel (i) respected by justice officials (“interpersonal justice”) and (ii) informed about the progress of their case and the justice process overall (“informational justice”) (Laxminarayan, Henrichs and Pemberton, 2012; Laxminirayan, 2013). This paper explores the experience of interactional justice for victims of ‘honour’-based violence and abuse who report to the police in England and Wales. ‘Honour’-based violence and abuse (HBVA) refers to abuse perpetrated with reference to ideas of ‘shame’ and ‘honour’. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 36 victims of HBVA across England. This paper documents their experience and extends the framework of interactional justice proposed by Laxminarayan, Henrichs and Pemberton (2012). First, we identify intersectionality, in particular the positions of gender, ethnicity and immigration status within the victim-officer encounter, as central to interpreting the interpersonal experiences of HBVA victims with police. Second, we find that how information is used and delivered can be as important as the content and timeliness of communication. Twenty of our sample of 36 participants were happy with the initial police response; but only nine were happy with their reporting experience overall. We argue that focusing on HBVA victims’ interaction with justice actors could enable us to understand and improve HBVA victims’ experience of, and satisfaction with, the justice system overall. © 2018, The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an author produced version of a paper published in POLICING AND SOCIETY uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self- archiving policy. The final published version (version of record) is available online at the link below. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)640-656
JournalPolicing and Society
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2018


  • honour based violence
  • forced marriage
  • FGM

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