We recognise that every year, a number of students at Universities around the UK (including Leeds Trinity) experience issues around being pressured / forced into marrying someone that they don’t want to marry or other abuse / oppression resulting from their family’s desire to maintain their family honour or ‘issat’.
Whilst statistics suggest that a high number of people experiencing this are from south-asian families, this can happen to people from a wide range of backgrounds and ethnicities. It can also happen to people of any gender and any age.
If you’re worried about yourself or a friend, or just want to find out more:
Speak to someone in confidence. You’re not alone and there is always help & support available if you want it.
Student Welfare can offer help & support to students experiencing Forced Marriage / Honour-Based Abuse. Our Adviser is trained & experienced in assisting students with these matters and can help with things like safety planning, emergency accommodation, getting a Forced Marriage Protection Order, and / or just someone to talk to. Anything you tell us is in strict confidence (except for rare circumstances e.g. if we believe you are in immediate danger of serious harm or a child is at risk, in which case we may be required to contact an appropriate agency such as emergency services - where possible we would usually seek to discuss this with you before contacting anyone). NB this service is staffed by a male.
An excellent national organisation to speak to is the Leeds-based national charity Karma Nirvana – check out their website at www.karmanirvana.org.uk or give them a call on 0800 5999 247. They’re very friendly and are specialists in supporting victims of honour-based abuse & forced marriage.
Another good organisation to contact if you’re worried about being taken out of the country to be forced into a marriage (or worried about someone that you think has been taken abroad to be forced into a marriage) is the Forced Marriage Unit, part of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. Their remit is wide, ranging from giving advice over the phone to repatriating (‘rescuing’) people that have been taken abroad. Check out their website at www.gov.uk/guidance/forced-marriage or give them a call on 020 7008 0151.
Also be aware of the support services available on campus, such as the Counselling Service.