Drugging, beating, shooting, drowning: the methods by which honour killings are carried out are various, but the motives behind these abhorrent crimes are similar.
A young man or woman violates an authoritarian code of conduct by falling in love with the wrong person; one of the two families decides it cannot stand its name to be tarnished; a brutal murder follows.
It is estimated that 5,000 honour killings occur every year worldwide; the crime - perpetrated by secretive families, often conducted abroad - means that the true number is likely to be greater.
Although the practice is often associated with Islam and takes place predominantly in India or Pakistan, it has also happened in Sikh, Hindu and Christian families.
“It doesn’t have anything to do with religion - it’s about control,” says documentary maker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. Her Oscar-winning film, A Girl in the River, tells the true story of a young Pakistani woman who survived an honour killing attempt but was then pressured into granting her attackers forgiveness. Thanks to a legal loophole, this allowed them to go free.
Obaid-Chinoy, who is from Pakistan, sees the rise of honour killings - which are now “rampant” across South Asia - as a reaction to women asserting themselves across the world. “Women are beginning to learn what their rights are”, she says, and honour killings have become a way for regressive patriarchal forces to re-assert themselves in return.
Not that the victims are always female: 12 years ago, Arash Ghorbani-Zarin was killed by his pregnant girlfriend’s father and brothers in Oxford. Nor are the perpetrators always male: Bachan Kaur, a 70-year-old grandmother from Hayes, Middlesex, was convicted of the murder of her daughter-in-law in 2007 along with her son.
Clive Driscoll, best known for his work on the Stephen Lawrence killing, was the detective who helped extricate Bachan Kaur’s other daughter-in-law, Sarbjit Athwal, from a similar murder attempt. “Bachan Kaur is the coldest murderer I’ve ever dealt with,” he says.
The police failed to support Athwal when she tried to tip them off about her sister-in-law’s murder, Driscoll explains, but rather than seek retribution, she is using her experience to help other sufferers through her charity, True Honour.
“She wanted to help the police get better and prevent another case like hers,” says Driscoll. “That's honour.”