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Well, this one blew my mind a little. I originally saw it as a graphic, but a little research was able to dig up the original.

Your article says that, since 2013, 869 women suffered “honour killings” in Pakistan. Compare this to the United States, where three women a day are killed by their male partners or husbands. By my count, since 2013 about 1,095 women were killed by men who think they have been dishonoured by their female partners.

Maybe the women wanted to leave the marriage, or had found a new partner, but clearly the men felt betrayed and dishonoured by their partners and killed them. The media are quick to target women murders in Muslim-dominated countries, but maybe the media should also look at the facts in the U.S. (and Canada) as well.

Judy Haiven, Department of Management Professor, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, N.S.

In hindsight, this makes a lot of sense. Societal views play a large role in domestic violence.

Of particular interest were the findings that after controlling for witnessing paternal battering, male peer informational support exerted a direct effect on the increased likelihood of using violence against female partners, and that, in the path model predicting battering ever, witnessing battering ceased to be a significant predictor of men’s violence when peer and attitudinal variables were considered. Male peer-related variables also predicted men’s increased beliefs of entitlement to abuse female partners, and the belief that battering is justified directly affected partner violence perpetrated. These results support the inclusion of the broader social ecology of the batterer in examinations of male partner violence.[1]

Current programs therefore generally posit that men are led into offending through concepts of male entitlement and appropriate gender role behaviour and that, having offended, men minimise and justify their behaviour through common techniques of cognitive neutralisation (Sykes & Matza, 1957). They are described as making external and exculpatory attributions of blame, blaming their partners or other factors (such as alcohol, drugs or situational stress) to avoid taking responsibility for their behaviour. Thus even with interventions that hold that cultural beliefs and societal structures are key features in domestic violence offending, there is an assumption that the cognitions of domestic abusers are relevant to their offending. The offence supportive beliefs are held to reflect male entitlement and traditional views of masculinity and femininity.[2]

So there’s decent evidence that “honor killing” is just a code word for “domestic abuse in Islamic cultures.” It is something to be concerned about, but a better approach is to focus on domestic abuse, period, rather than domestic abuse that happens elsewhere; here, at least, we have a much greater chance of changing things for the better.


[1] Silverman, Jay G., and Gail M. Williamson. “Social ecology and entitlements involved in battering by heterosexual college males: Contributions of family and peers.” Violence and Victims 12.2 (1997): 147-164.

[2] Langlands, Robyn L., Tony Ward, and Elizabeth Gilchrist. “Applying the good lives model to male perpetrators of domestic violence.” Behaviour change 26.02 (2009): 113-129.