Archive for September, 2015

Forced marriage in Britain: It nearly happened to me

Last year in the UK, 1,267 people were assisted by the government’s Forced Marriage Unit. Add to this the number of people supported by specialist independent charities, as well as local police forces up and down the country, and you have a figure running well into the thousands. In Channel 4’s powerful documentary Forced Marriage Cops (going out this evening) director Anna Hall and her team follow the work of police officers in Greater Manchester as they investigate 250 cases of forced marriage over the course of 12 months.

Shaheen Hashmat, 29, escaped her family and the risk of a forced marriage aged 13

This wasn’t an easy programme for me to watch. It’s been almost 20 years since the police and local authorities helped me escape from my family because of abuse and the threat of forced marriage. So much time has passed now, and it’s more than jarring to see past experiences reflected so powerfully on camera in the lives of other women like my siblings and I. Forced Marriage Cops focuses on the stories of several women, and each one illustrates the different ways that victims can be affected by forced marriage.

Read More:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/11899171/Forced-marriage-in-Britain-It-nearly-happened-to-me.html

Documentary lifts the lid on forced marriage and honour crime in Greater Manchester

A documentary about forced marriages in Greater Manchester will be aired on Channel 4 on Wednesday.

Forced Marriage Cops follows Greater Manchester Police investigating the ‘hidden crime’, after forcing someone to marry against their will was made illegal last year.

”The victims of this type of crime are in relationships with the perpetrators and when I say relationships, I mean close relationships, it would be fathers, brothers, extended family, community members, people that they love and trust.

“So they have this dilemma of do I come forward and say something and what are the consequences for the people that I love and respect.”

– DETECTIVE CHIEF INSPECTOR NICKY PORTER GREATER MANCHESTER POLICE

The production uncovers the story of 26 year old Ruhksana, seeking police protection after escaping from her father who attacked her for seeing her boyfriend.

Another victim, Sajida, was forced to marry when she was very young.

“17 years ago I was taken abroad to get married to someone I didn’t know properly. I was very young at the time, I was 16.

I was made to marry a person who for the next 13 years of my life physically and mentally abused me.”

– FORCED MARRIAGE VICTIM, SAJIDA

The filmmakers were given access to the biggest case of forced marriage that Greater Manchester Police has encountered, with a family of 15 at risk.

Read More: http://www.itv.com/news/granada/2015-09-29/forced-marriage-cops-channel-4-documentary-airs-tomorrow/

Students team up with police for project on honour based violence

A group of students within the English Department are set to work on a new project with Cambridgeshire Police to help tackle the growing problem of honour based violence within the UK.

The project, dubbed ‘Operation Synergy’ aims to use the plot of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to create a mock case which will eventually go to trial, and be extensively documented and filmed to produce a training aid that will help to educate new police officers about honour based violence, and how to deal with the issue.

The students involved will largely be responsible for creating and independently managing the social media profiles of the characters that feature in Romeo and Juliet, using the text as a springboard to develop individual modern-day personalities and posting regular updates to play the story out in real time, with the Montague family on Twitter and the Capulets on Facebook.

One perception that the project is trying to address is the association of honour based violence as a crime (or crimes) committed to protect or defend the honour of the family or community, with largely ethnic or religious minorities.

Read More: http://www.nouse.co.uk/2015/09/29/students-team-up-with-police-for-project-on-honour-based-violence/

Muslim father strangled daughter, 19, to death in ‘honour killing’ after she was caught stealing condoms for sex with her forbidden boyfriend in Germany

Muslim father strangled daughter, 19, to death in ‘honour killing’ after she was caught stealing condoms for sex with her forbidden boyfriend in Germany. Khan, 51, with tears streaming down his face, admitted the killing because in his eyes she had brought ‘dishonour’ on the family with her love for a boy he didn’t approve of. He and his wife were wed in an arranged marriage and he wanted the same for her.

a COURT HEARLareeb stayed away from the home for several nights in a row and stopped wearing her headscarf. Her family then got a letter from the police saying she had been caught trying to steal condoms

Khan and his wife, originally from Pakistan, are on trial for murder at the State Court in Darmstadt. Shazia, 41, described how she was a downtrodden woman, totally in the thrall of her husband, and unable to save her daughter.

The court heard how the parents sent Lareeb’s sister Nida, 14, to a relative on the evening of the murder in January this year.

Nida gave evidence against both her parents, saying her mother was as strict as their father, often striking both of them.

The mother held out her arms to Nida when she appeared in court on Friday but Nida refused to acknowledge her.

Nida said: ‘My Mama was not suppressed, she could do what she wanted. She used to hit me with a stick.

‘We were never allowed to talk about her boyfriend. My father used to say my sister should be forcibly married in Pakistan.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3251787/Muslim-father-strangled-daughter-19-death-honour-killing-caught-stealing-condoms-sex-forbidden-boyfriend-Germany.html#ixzz3n2MD1EKN

ASYLUM SEEKER’S CASE POINTS TO IRAN’S ABUSE OF WOMEN AND HOSTILITY TOWARD WEST

INU : On Thursday, The Guardian reported that members of the Australian public had begun rallying support for an Iranian asylum seeker who is facing deportation after her claim was denied by the Australian government. The Australian immigration minister, Peter Dutton has reportedly begun reviewing the case personally.

Mojgan Shamsalipoor fled Iran for Australia as a teenager in 2012 in order to escape sexual abuse and forced marriage to a man in his 60s. Now 21 years old, she has since married a permanent resident of Australia, and she was in the process of completing her high school education in Brisbane when she was forcibly taken to a detention center to await probable deportation.

Shamsalipoor’s advocates now argue that she must be allowed to file a new visa application while still on Australian soil, out of fear that her life would be in danger if forced to return to Iran. Her story thus serves to highlight the human rights situation in Iran as it relates both to restrictions on the rights of women and to the treatment of persons who are considered political dissenters or affiliates of the West.

Read more: http://irannewsupdate.com/news/human-rights/2356-asylum-seeker-s-case-points-to-iran-s-abuse-of-women-and-hostility-toward-west.html

Muslim model, 24, is found hanged after fearing she was going to be forced into arranged marriage by her parents

A model was found hanged after fearing she was about to be forced into an arranged marriage by her Muslim parents, an inquest heard.

Nadia Menaz, 24, was found dead at her home in Oldham, Greater Manchester in May, five months after taking out a court order to stop her family from forcing her to marry.

The mother-of-one had already married husband Umar Rasool in an Islamic ceremony, but her family did not approve of him and the union was not recognised under English law, Oldham Coroner’s Court heard.

Model Nadia Menaz (pictured) was found hanged after fearing she was about to be forced into an arranged marriage by her Muslim parents, an inquest heard

The hearing was told that Ms Menaz had a ‘very strained’ relationship with her parents. She had also suffered depression, and had self harmed, as well as cutting off her hair.In December last year, Ms Menaz took out a forced marriage protection order at the Family Court in Manchester against her father Sabir Hussain, 60, her mother Ruksana Kousar, 55, and three of her eight siblings. According to government guidelines, the legislation protects women if they are being threatened with a forced marriage or are already within a forced marriage.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3243143/Muslim-model-24-hanged-fearing-going-forced-arranged-marriage-parents.html#ixzz3mNlDnQAS

Indian girl beaten and starved by her own MOTHER for refusing to wed at just 11 inspires protest against child marriage with #StrengthtoSayNo hashtag

Indian protesters are taking to Twitter to share the #StrengthtoSayNo hashtag as part of a campaign to crack down on child marriage.

Launched by Penguin Books in association with news website Better India, the initiative seeks to bring awareness to the all-too-common practice of forced underage marriage, in a country where one in five brides is under the age of 15.

The hashtag was inspired by an Indian girl called Rekha Kalindi, now 18, who refused an arranged marriage at the age of just 11 and was allegedly beaten and starved by her own mother for doing so.

Indian protesters are taking to Twitter to share the #StrengthtoSayNo hashtag as part of a campaign to crack down on child marriages

Rekha, who has published her own memoir, Strength to Say No, says she worked from the age of four-years-old to help support her family.

They lived in a remote Indian village where, according to children’s right charity Humanium, ‘when a girl is born, it is always bad news’.

Fortunately for her, the National Child Labour Project in collaboration with UNICEF funded her to get a school education, where she gained a certain level of independence.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3234997/Indian-girl-Rekha-Kalindi-beaten-starved-mother-refusing-wed-age-11-inspires-protest-against-child-marriage-StrengthtoSayNo-hashtag.html#ixzz3mMcsM0DB

Region joins forces against ‘honour’ violence

POLICE in the North-East and support organisations led by the Halo Project have united to sign an honour based violence (HBV) charter pledging to wipe out the crime in the region and are urging victims to come forward.
They said that vital lessons have been learned since Banaz Mahmod’s pleas for help fell on deaf ears nine years ago and assured that they will be believed. The terrified 20-year-old wrote a letter from beyond the grave giving details about the men she believed would savagely kill her before her raped and strangled body was found in a suitcase.

Yasmin Khan, director of Halo Project, signing the pledge to eradicate 'honour' based violence in the region with Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner, Barry Coppinger

PLEDGE: Yasmin Khan, director of Halo Project, signing a charter vowing to eradicate ‘honour’ based violence in the region with Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner, Barry Coppinger

After she was spotted kissing her boyfriend in the street, Banaz Mahmod from London was murdered by her own family in a so called ‘honour’ killing despite reporting to police that she feared her life was in danger five times.
The harrowing documentary, ‘Banaz: A Love Story’ made by award-winning filmmaker Deeyah Khan, was screened at the pledge event detailing the tragic events that unfolded from her police interview to her killers finally being brought to justice.
A picture of a younger Banaz flashed up on the screen shows a baby faced beauty with rosebud lips and a healthy glow. But the woman who sat in the police interview room with her straggly hair scraped back in a bun, looked gaunt, exhausted and with the knowing look of fear in her eyes.

Read More: http://expressnorth.co.uk/region-joins-forces-against-honour-based-violence/

How to deal with the threat of FGM

Don’t go. Don’t go. DON’T GO. These words were written again and again in bold or in capitals in almost every single of more than 800 comments under OP’s post on the social news site Reddit.

09.06.2015 DW Doku The Cut

As a regular Reddit user, the young American girl sought help in her usual place when she didn’t know what to do: “In 10 days my dad will be taking my sis and brothers to a country in Africa [editor’s note: Somalia] where 98% of women have suffered from FGM. As a 16 year old who doesn’t want their vagina mutilated, I’m sooooooo effing scared.” She explains that her mother is also cut, but that she hopes this won’t happen to her, as both her parents work in health care and should know about the medical impacts of the practice. Nonetheless, she’s terrified – not only about her own fate, but also for the sake of her 12-years-old sister.

OP’s story reads like a thriller – but the fear is not fictional, it’s real. Her initial post ends with: “Help Reddit! I’m so scared and I don’t know what to do.”

And the Reddit community did help, in their way. In all their comments, they advise 16-years-old OP to talk to her parents and to get in touch with the police and with school officials.

Read More: http://www.dw.com/en/how-to-deal-with-the-threat-of-fgm/a-18689587

Boys marrying as young as 7 in Nepal: CARE

As Fathers across Australia awake on Sunday to appreciative offspring bearing gifts, they could spare a thought for the child grooms of Nepal who can be as young as seven.

Child marriage is mostly an issue for young girls but a new report by CARE Australia says it can also be a problem for young boys. That can lead to psychological trauma and high rates of dropping out of school to support their new families, it found.

 In most places where child marriage is common, older men wed younger girls. But in parts of western Nepal, boys and girls are often forced to marry each other.

CARE said these pre-teen children went through wedding ceremonies, then lived apart for a few years. When boys reached their early teens, the couples moved in together with the expectation of starting a family.
Read more at http://www.9news.com.au/national/2015/09/05/10/17/boys-marrying-as-young-as-7-in-nepal-care#YGYZV602MM0uGYbc.99

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