Victims of “honour” based abuse in Tayside and Fife have been encouraged to reach out for support.
The call comes as police figures show a spike in cases in 2016 has been largely maintained in the following years.
Across Scotland, 131 incidents of honour-based abuse took place. In 2015, there were 104 cases.
The police stats come with the caveat that there is no statutory crime of honour-based abuse in Scotland, but that it is an aggravator for other crimes. As such, the incidents recorded indicate a concern for someone, and do not necessarily mean a crime has been committed.
In Tayside and Fife there were 13 reports of such incidents last year, compared to seven in 2015.
Honour-based violence is a practice of control behaviour, typically within families, used when perpetrators perceive a relative has brought shame on to their family or community.
In Tayside and Fife, there were 13 incidents of honour-based violence last year.
Cases of forced marriages have steadily risen across Scotland, from 40 in 2015 to 53 in 2018.
In Tayside and Fife, cases of forced marriage jumped from two to five between 2017 and 2018.
The highest offending region within Courier Country for both honour-based violence and forced marriages was in Fife.
In the last five years there has been 22 cases of the offence in the Kingdom.
Figures for 2019 were not made available.
The information does not give a breakdown by gender, but females are said to be typically the victims of such crimes.
Katy Mathieson, from the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre, said: “Forced marriage and so-called ‘honour’ based violence are types of abuse used to exert control over another person’s life, and they are primarily perpetrated by men against women.
“In our experience, these are gendered crimes which may involve sexual violence and coercive control.
“We encourage any woman who is currently experience ‘honour’ based violence, forced marriage or any other type of violence or abuse to get in touch with us through our helplines and surgeries so we can assist with legal information and advice on their rights and steps they can take to access justice.”
A force spokesman encouraged victims to come forward and report incidents.
He said: “You are not alone, Police Scotland will listen to you and take all reports seriously.
“We work closely with partners who are experienced in dealing with honour-based abuse and can offer you support and advice.
“Police Scotland is working in partnership to increase the confidence of victims and to come forward and report honour-based abuse.”