Posts Tagged ‘halo project’

The caged girl

Four years ago in 2012, a British girl, Amina Al-Jeffery, was taken out of the UK, from her home in Swansea, and locked up in the country of her father’s birth, Saudi Arabia. Amina has been locked up for daring to become ‘Westernised’ for ruining the family honour and bringing shame on the family name. For the last four years that she has been forced to live in Saudi Arabia none of us had even heard of her. I hadn’t. Can you honestly say you had heard of her plight to return to Britain, to her home? Thanks to social media and the power of Twitter her plight has been heard and the High Courts have ruled that ‘the girl in the cage’ be returned to the UK by the 11th of September. Why not immediately? Four years is a long time to be imprisoned by her father, why have the courts not demanded she be released immediately?

Yasmin Khan, Director of the Halo Project, a national charity dedicated to helping the victims of forced marriage, honour based violence and female genital mutilation and the many issues that arise from these crimes, including kidnap, spoke about the case on BBC Live 5, on 3rd August 2016. Yasmin discussed the failures of safeguarding agencies in protecting the victims, the importance of safeguarding agencies working closely together to ensure the safety of victims. That we even have a case where there is a British girl, locked in a cage in Saudi Arabia is shocking.

Cases of honour crime are hugely under reported, Yasmin goes on to say, parents who are guilty of killing their child in the name of honour are never going to report the child missing are they?

If it hadn’t been for social media and Amina’s plea for help we would never have heard of her, she had friends she relied on to get her story out there. How many more Amina’s are out there, no one to tell their story.

Yasmin is spot on when she states that it should never have been allowed to get to this stage. This stage means that we have failed those we should have been protecting. It is important to take risks seriously and not ignore cries for help because you are scared of being labelled something. Helping and supporting girls and women live a life free of violence and honour killing only shows that you are a decent human being, there is nothing racist in empowering young girls and women.

I hope that Amina’s father does the right thing and returns her to home, in Swansea. I hope he is shamed by how much support his daughter is receiving, and sets her free. Sadly men’s actions are never deemed shameful nor is the burden of ‘honour’ placed on them. Amina’s father believes his daughter needs to stay locked up; no High Court hearing can make him change his mind. The British laws where his daughter was born matter not the laws in the land of his birth.

If the father held his beliefs in his actions and not in his mind, then he should respect the over-riding fact that Islamic law must be overseen by the law of the land and in this case UK Law should be implemented.

 

 

Double suicide tragedy as two 19-year-old girls are found hanged after they were forced to marry against their will in India

Two 19-year-old girls have been found hanged after they were forced to marry against their will in India.

Police discovered Asha Shrikant Burud and Swati Umesh Zanjare hanging from a tree in a jungle and instantly described their deaths as suicide. The two young women were married off in a mass ceremony at the start of the month in Ambegaon taluka, western India, and had gone missing 10 days later.

Asha Shrikant BurudSwati Umesh Zanjare

Their families, from the village of Asane, last saw them when they set off to gather wood and fruit in a nearby forest and reported them missing three days ago.

Police said they probably committed suicide because they were married off against their wishes.

Inspector Girish Dighavkar of the Ghodegaon police station said, ‘Based on the primary investigation, we believe that the two have committed suicide.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3593277/Double-suicide-tragedy-two-19-year-old-girls-hanged-forced-marry-against-India.html#ixzz48tpZ3342

Illegal immigrant exploited FGM laws to stay in Britain

An illegal immigrant from Nigeria was granted leave to remain in Britain after falsely alleging that her daughters would be subjected to female genital mutilation if they were sent back.

A high court judge ruled that the three girls, aged 13, 10 and seven, needed protection from their father after hearing claims he was making arrangements for them to be “cut”.

FGM

Female Genital Mutilation effects millions of women worldwide

In a landmark case the girls became the first subjects of a female genital mutilation (FGM) protection order, by the British courts. But that decision has now been overturned after a different judge dismissed the claim, describing it as part of an “immigration scam”.

Read More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/08/illegal-immigrant-exploited-fgm-laws-to-stay-in-britain/

Parents fined for breaching forced marriage order ‘were taking daughter to Pakistan to see dying grandparents’

Parents who tried to take their daughter to Pakistan to see her dying grandparents have been fined after flouting the terms of a forced marriage protection order.

The family, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were ‘detained’ by police at the departure gate at Manchester Airport. They were trying to board a flight to Pakistan with their teenage daughter and other family members in July 2015.

Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court heard that the couple were in breach of a forced marriage protection order imposed at Manchester Family Court in March 2015.  However defence lawyers for the family argued that the parents believed the order had been rescinded so the youngster could leave the country of her own free will.

The court heard that her mother had been acting on ‘egregious information’ from the police and social services.

District judge Samuel Goozee said there had been ‘a wholesale breakdown’ by the police, social services and the school in relation to the order.

 

Read More: http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/forced-marriage-order-parents-fined-11313484

What It’s Like to Experience Female Genital Cutting

When she was 7 years old, Mariya Karimjee sat on a tarp in a neighbor woman’s living room and had an operation that would affect her life forever. As part of a family tradition in her small Dawoodi Bohra sect of Islam, Karimjee had part of her clitoris removed in a procedure that was meant to make it impossible for her to feel desire or “get turned on.”

“When I was younger, someone took a knife to my clitoris and cut out a small but significant part of me.”

Karimjee shared her story of slowly learning about what happened to her that day in Karachi, Pakistan, in 1995 on the radio program This American Life this week, and has written about her experience previously for The Big Roundtable. As she said in the recording, her mom referred to her budding sexuality and anatomy as a “bug” that needed to be taken out.

 “According to my mother, a bug was growing in an egg down there — her language not mine — and that it would hatch and eventually crawl to my brain, unless we removed it,” Karimjee said. So her mother took her to the neighbor woman’s house, and she received a gold necklace with a teardrop pearl pendant as a gift afterward.

“For two days [after the operation], I wore what I can only describe as a big-girl diaper wet with blood,” Karimjee said. “Peeing was so painful that I tried to last for hours without going until my mother explained that I could give myself an infection. For the next year, I’d break out into a cold sweat whenever I saw the kind-faced woman who, on a tarp on her living room floor, had spoken to me softly as she took a knife and cut me.”

Read M0re: http://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/news/a58222/what-its-like-to-experience-female-genital-mutiliation/

Time 100: FGM campaigner Jaha Dukureh makes prestigious list

Anti-FGM campaigner Jaha Dukureh has been named one of the world’s most influential leaders by Time magazine alongside John Kerry, Angela Merkel, Aung San Suu Kyi, Bernie Sanders and Christine Lagarde.

Dukureh, the lead campaigner in the Guardian’s global media campaign to end female genital mutilation, was honoured in particular for her work in the US and the Gambia but is now campaigning to end the practice worldwide in a generation, using her experiences as a survivor to build public support.

She first came to prominence with the success of her change.org petition, which received more than 220,000 signatures, asking the Obama administration to conduct a new prevalence study into the current scope of FGM in the United States.

The Guardian’s editor-in-chief, Katharine Viner, with Jaha Dukureh.

The Guardian’s editor-in-chief, Katharine Viner, with Jaha Dukureh. Photograph: Alicia Canter for the Guardian

Now based in Atlanta, Dukureh has become the leading campaigner against FGM in the Gambia. She is of a new generation of young women in the country who are working through the media to make sure that the mutilation they have suffered is not repeated on their daughters.

Read More: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/21/time-100-fgm-campaigner-jaha-dukureh-makes-prestigious-list

 

Boy aged eight among known potential victims of forced marriage in UK

A boy as young as eight is among scores of children feared by judges to be at risk of forced marriage as official figures reveal police are struggling to bring cases to court.

Met Commander Mak Chishty

Met Commander Mak Chishty is the national police lead for forced marriage and honour-based violence. Photograph: Linda Nylind for the Guardian

The schoolboy – thought to be one of the UK’s youngest known potential victims of forced marriage – is among 71 children, teenagers and women in West Yorkshire guarded by special court orders since 2014.

His case came to light as police figures, obtained by the Guardian, showed that only a fraction of investigations into forced marriage result in a prosecution. Many are dropped because victims are too scared to give evidence against their abuser.

In West Yorkshire, five of the 51 cases investigated since June 2014 resulted in a suspect being charged.Thirty-five of these investigations were dropped due to “evidential difficulties”, of which 16 were “victim-based” problems, the figures show.

There was a similar pattern in the West Midlands, where 19 of its 31 investigations resulted in no charges – eight because the victims did not support further action. There has been one conviction so far under a new forced marriage law introduced in June 2014.

Read More: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/apr/20/boy-eight-among-known-potential-victims-forced-marriage-uk

Marriage victims forced underground

In July 2014 it became a criminal offence to forced someone into marriage, but a Bristol-based charity says the law could be forcing victims to “go underground” rather than see their family charged.

Following a Freedom of Information request to HM Courts and Tribunal Service it was revealed that there have been “fewer than five forced marriage protection orders” made in Bristol since the introduction of the new legislation.

An order can help prevent people being married against their will, stop them being taken abroad to marry and force people to hand in passports.

“The Bristol statistics are disappointing and concerning and we need to find out why,” says Sabeena Suleman, a lawyer who helps run the Sky Project.

 

Read More: http://www.bristol247.com/channel/news-comment/features/investigations/marriage-victims-forced-underground-bristol

Revealed: The number of court orders to protect people from forced marriages on Teesside

 

The Gazette asked the Ministry of Justice under Freedom of Information laws how many times this had happened at Teesside County Court .

Teesside Law Courts at Middlesbrough

Their response was that there were 20 applications for these orders between January 2010 and September 2015 at the court on Russell Street in Middlesbrough.

A total of six were granted.

The exclusive data we have obtained doesn’t go into any more details about the individual cases, or exactly what the terms of the orders were.

However, in general, Forced Marriage Protection Orders (FMPOs) can do things like stopping people getting married against their will, stopping being taken abroad to marry and compelling people to hand in passports.

Read More: http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/revealed-number-court-orders-protect-11135424

British girls as young as 10 face harm from breast ironing with stones heated on hot coals in ritual imported from west Africa

Around 1,000 British girls face harm from the ‘abhorrent’ practice of breast ironing, ministers have warned.

In the brutal procedure, hot objects [stones, a hammer or a spatula] are used to pound and beat girls’ breasts to stop them growing in the belief it makes them less desirable and discourages premarital pregnancy.

Breast ironing originated in Cameroon, where it affects as many as one in four.

It also takes place in Nigeria, Benin and Chad. This week Jake Berry, the Conservative MP for Rossendale & Darwen, said he was shocked to learn girls in west African communities in Birmingham and London were victims too.

The process uses stones, a hammer or a spatula heated over hot coals to mutilate the breast tissue and make the girls look less 'womanly' - around 1,000 British girls face harm from the practice, it has been revealed

It is very difficult to spot as most of the perpetrators were the victims’ own mothers.

Mr Berry used freedom of information requests to show how little is known about the practice among child protection professions and the police.

A quarter of children’s services department had not been trained to look for signs, while one in seven police forces had never heard of it.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3510492/British-girls-young-10-face-harm-breast-ironing-stones-heated-hot-coals-ritual-imported-west-Africa.html#ixzz44HoXQg00

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