Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 303–314 | Cite as

An Exploratory Study of Honor Crimes in the United States

  • Brittany E. HayesEmail author
  • Joshua D. Freilich
  • Steven M. Chermak
Original Article


There is a lack of research on honor crimes within the United States. We used an open source search methodology to identify the victim-offender relationship and motivations for this crime within the United States. Using data collected based on the protocol for the United States Extremist Crime Database (ECDB), we identified a total of 16 honor crimes with 40 victims that occurred between January 1st 1990 and December 31st 2014 in the United States. Based on our findings, the overarching motivations for honor crimes in the United States were the perpetrator’s former partner beginning the process of separation and the westernized behavior of the victim, typically the offender’s daughter or step-daughter. Honor crimes were not limited to current/former intimate partners or daughters, as they also included the death of extended family members (e.g. in-laws, nieces, and cousins). Policy implications and directions for future research on honor crimes are discussed.


Honor killing Honor crime Extremist crime Intimate partner violence Domestic violence 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brittany E. Hayes
    • 1
    Email author
  • Joshua D. Freilich
    • 2
  • Steven M. Chermak
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Criminal Justice and CriminologySam Houston State UniversityHuntsvilleUSA
  2. 2.Doctoral Program in Criminal Justice & Department of Criminal Justice, John Jay CollegeCUNYNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.School of Criminal JusticeMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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