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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)640-656
Number of pages17
JournalPolicing and Society
Issue number6
Early online date30 Jan 2018
DateAccepted/In press - 9 Jan 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 30 Jan 2018
DatePublished (current) - 1 Jun 2019


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, M., Henrichs, J., and Pemberton, A. (2012). Procedural and interactional justice: a comparative study of victims in the Netherlands and New South Wales. European journal of criminology, 9 (3), 260–275; Laxminarayan, M. (2013). Interactional justice, coping and the legal system: needs of vulnerable victims. International review of victimology, 19 (2), 145–158]. This paper explores the experience of interactional justice for victims of ‘honour’-based violence and abuse (HBVA) who report to the police in England and Wales. 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 et al. (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 9 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.

    Research areas

  • gender, Honour-based violence and abuse, interactional justice, policing

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    Licence: CC BY


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