‘I was under a lot of pressure to do the “right thing”. My mother and my family used my faith against me – they knew that if I took an oath on the Qur’an, I would keep it. All that mattered to them was what people thought.’
Yasmin was 20 years old when she went to Pakistan with her mother during her university holidays. Yasmin had told her mother that she was a lesbian. On arrival, she was locked in a room and told that she would have to marry her cousin.
Despite attempts to escape, she was kept locked up for a month, and gained her freedom only after she took an oath on the Qur’an that she would agree to marry someone in the UK, which she did on her return. Later, when Yasmin left the marriage, she was disowned by her family. Her ex-husband went on to blackmail Yasmin and her mother.
Had Yasmin known about the support and help that the Forced Marriage Unit can offer, she may have been able to get help sooner and avoid the emotional confusion of forced marriage and divorce. Today, Y...
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