Forced Marriages

Through St Philip’s Centre in Leicester, STR!VE has been awarded a Foreign & Commonwealth Office Grant for a new project addressing Forced Marriage.

Colour Hands ImageThe ‘Love, Honour & Obey’ Project will support women, families and communities to access the support, information and advice they need to combat the issue of forced marriage.

‘Love Honour & Obey’ is a project that will explore the issues around forced marriages, domestic abuse and honour based violence with women from Leicester using role play scenarios. The dedicated project workers are Rumena Choudhury  and Sumaiya Mulla.

The project aims  to equip young women to become champions by raising awareness and challenging the issue of forced marriage to facilitate changes in their own communities.

The issue of forced marriage is topical with Leicestershire Police reporting investigations of 52 city-based incidents involving suspected forced marriage or honour based abuse over a 12 month period alone. Forced marriage often becomes confused with introduced marriages and both are often associated with particular religions. This project aims to dispel several stereotypes and myths.

Project worker Rumena Choudhury said, “Faith and the issue of forced marriages are often linked and faith is used as a justification for a forced marriage. This project will offer evidence that no religion justifies forced marriages. Faith leaders will be brought in at appropriate points in support of this message. The project will emphasise that forced marriage is an abuse of an individual’s human rights and will help participants understand these rights”.

Deputy Director of St Philip’s Centre, Riaz Ravat added, “Forced marriages are a stain on our society and we must all work to support current and indeed potential, future victims of this practice.‘Love, Honour & Obey’ hopes to educate and provide support to many vulnerable people and communities”.

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