Spoon in underwear saving youths from forced marriage

Spoon in underwear saving youths from forced marriage

SOURCE : Thestar.com

As Britain puts airport staff on alert to spot potential victims of forced marriage, one campaigning group says the trick of putting a spoon in their underwear has saved some youngsters from a forced union in their South Asian ancestral homelands.

The concealed spoon sets off the metal detector at the airport in Britain and the teenagers can be taken away from their parents to be searched — a last chance to escape a largely hidden practice wrecking the lives of unknown thousands of British youths.

Image taken from sowetanlive.co.za

The British school summer holidays, now well under way, mark a peak in reports of young people — typically girls aged 15 and 16 — being taken abroad on “holiday”, for a marriage without consent, the government says.The bleep at airport security may be the last chance they get to escape a marriage to someone they have never met in a country they have never seen.

The spoon trick is the brainchild of the Karma Nirvana charity, which supports victims and survivors of forced marriage and honour-based abuse.

Based in Derby, central England, it fields 6,500 calls per year from around Britain but has almost reached that point so far in 2013 as awareness of the issue grows. When petrified youngsters ring, “if they don’t know exactly when it may happen or if it’s going to happen, we advise them to put a spoon in their underwear,” said Natasha Rattu, Karma Nirvana’s operations manager.

Marriages without consent, or their refusal, have led to suicides and so-called honour killings

“When they go though security, it will highlight this object in a private area and, if 16 or over, they will be taken to a safe space where they have that one last opportunity to disclose they’re being forced to marry,” she told AFP.

“We’ve had people ring and that it’s helped them and got them out of a dangerous situation. It’s an incredibly difficult thing to do with your family around you — but they won’t be aware you have done it. It’s a safe way.”

The charity is working with airports — so far London Heathrow, Liverpool and Glasgow, with Birmingham to come — to spot potential signs, such as one-way tickets, the time of year, age of the person and whether they look uncomfortable.

“These are quite general points, but there are things that if you look collectively lead you to believe something more sinister is going on,” said Rattu.

People who come forward can be escorted out of a secure airport exit to help outside.

Learn more about KARMANIRVANA UK

Comments : Honour killings is the murder of a member of a family or social group by other members, due to the belief of the perpetrators (and potentially the wider community) that the victim has brought dishonour upon the family or community. Honour killings are directed mostly against women and girls.

Caste and community pressure results in higher rate of honour killings. People need to fight this evil with actions and punishing the ones involved. Governments needs to start taking steps overlooking religious barriers in order stop this growing crime.




Natak Dekho and Fight for Women’s Rights in Haryana

Natak Dekho and Fight for Women’s Rights in Haryana

SOURCE :Bellbajao.org

In Haryana, there are only 830 girls for every 1000 boys. A normal ratio is 1050 girls for every 1000 boys.

Stop for a moment and think. Where have all the girls gone?

Through illegal technologies, the girl child is being eliminated even before she is born. The practice of Gender Biased Sex Selection is rooted in a far deeper discrimination and violence that girls face – from having to pay large dowry during marriage to restricted mobility and choice because of protecting a girls’ honor, to the desperate desire for a male heir.

Breakthrough is working in four districts in Haryana – Jhajjhar, Sonipat, Panipat and Rohtak, to challenge and reverse Gender Biased Sex Selection. Through partnerships with the Government of Haryana, the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Angandwadi Centers across the region, and Panchayat leaders (local government), Breakthrough is counteracting the deep-rooted discrimination that women face.

But no one method can work in isolation. Paving the way is our leadership trainings with young people in colleges, Anganwadi workers, and government officials and our community engagement through melas and street theater.

To learn more about Natak dekho and their street plays click here

Why is it that Indians kill their girl child?

Tradition and cultural beliefs have ripped apart innocent girl children in the past 20 years. Statistics say ten million female foetuses have been aborted.

Though its illegal in India Doctors make it possible for the family to carry out this crime for mere sum of money. Some reports, there are as many as 40,000 registered ultrasound clinics in India and very likely as many, or more, that are unregistered. Apart from determining the sex, several of these clinics also offer to terminate the pregnancy, again an act that is illegal.

Is it cause this child cannot defend itself ? or talk they take this advantage of? High time we stand up for the women who want to protect their girl children .

Forced Marriage and Honour Killing Checksheet

SOURCE : http://www.thepixelproject.net/getting-help/forced-marriage-and-honour-killing-checksheet/

Helping Someone Escape Forced Marriage and/or Honour Killing – Basic Safety Checksheet for Friends and Family

Forced marriages and honour killings are often intertwined. Marriage can be forced to save honour, and women can be murdered for rejecting a forced marriage.[5]

The issue of ‘honour’ is also one of links with the community. Unlike domestic violence, a woman who runs away from a forced marriage or honour killing will be severing links with her family and her culture. There may be no help coming from those parties.

This is by no means an exhaustive list but here are a range of recommendations for assisting a woman or girl fleeing a forced marriage and/or an honour killing if she comes to you for help:

  • Don’t underestimate the family’s desire to avenge their honour by killing their daughter(s).
  • Never reject a girl or send her away. It may be the last time you see her alive.
  • Never seek advice from ‘community leaders’; they may seem progressive, but may not speak honestly on the taboo subject of honour.
  • Do not allow a friend, or relative of the victim to be your interpreter. They could mislead both you and the victim.
  • Do NOT attempt mediation.
  • Anonymity is fundamental. Some families hire bounty hunters or assassins to kill their children. You must never discuss them or their whereabouts.
  • Never contact the family. It will result in the girl facing stricter surveillance and even violence.
  • Address practical issues: how to keep hold of/get back the passport for example.
  • Maintain discreet contact. Check school times and use a password or safe word on the phone.
  • You must follow the wishes of the girl, even those who will accept a forced marriage rather than make the break from their families.
  • When a girl asks for help, never speak to her in the presence of her family.
  • For girls under 18, seek Child Protection.
  • Refer her to and ensure she reaches ‘friendship networks’ for survivors facing isolation.
  • Do not approach the family unless the individual expressly asks you to do so.
  • Do not approach community leaders unless requested to do so by the individual.
  • Do not share information with anyone without the express consent of the individual.

Prefer to print this out in PDF? Click here.

  1. Adapted from Sarah Buel, Esq., in “Courts and Communities: Confronting Violence in the Family,” Conference Highlights, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, 1994
  2. “Preventing Domestic Violence” by Laura Crites in Prevention Communique, March 1992, Crime Prevention Division, Department of the Attorney General, Hawaii
  3. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  4. Adapted from Women’s Aid Organisation Malaysia
  5. Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation,United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth OfficeWomen’s Aid UK
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