Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 76–82 | Cite as

Honor crimes: review and proposed definition

  • Sally ElakkaryEmail author
  • Barbara Franke
  • Dina Shokri
  • Sven Hartwig
  • Michael Tsokos
  • Klaus Püschel


There is every reason to believe that honor based violence is one of the forms of domestic violence that is being practiced against females all over the world. This type of violence includes a wide range of crimes, the severest of which is honor killing. Many studies have adopted different definitions for the so-called honor killing. In this paper some of these definitions are discussed and a working definition is proposed. The scope of the problem worldwide is presented. Honor killing goes beyond ethnicity, class, and religion. It is a very old phenomenon that was practiced in ancient Rome, guided by penal codes. Some of the older as well as new penal codes are discussed concerning this matter from different regions of the world. The different efforts of international governmental and nongovernmental organizations in combating this problem are also presented.


Honor crimes Honor based violence Violence against women Penal codes 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sally Elakkary
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Barbara Franke
    • 1
  • Dina Shokri
    • 3
  • Sven Hartwig
    • 4
  • Michael Tsokos
    • 4
  • Klaus Püschel
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Legal MedicineUniversity Hospital Hamburg-EppendorfHamburgGermany
  2. 2.Forensic Medicine and Clinical Toxicology Department, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of AlexandriaAlexandriaEgypt
  3. 3.Forensic Medicine and Clinical Toxicology Department, Faculty of MedicineCairo UniversityCairoEgypt
  4. 4.Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic SciencesCharité—University Medicine BerlinBerlinGermany

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