A young woman from Calderdale is leading a team keen to shine a light on the practice of forced marriage.
Saba*, 18, and a group of young people from the area have made a film with Fixers to get people talking about the taboo subject.
They hope the film will be shown to school pupils and teachers to make sure they understand that forced marriage is a violation of an individual’s human rights.
‘I wanted to get involved with this project as I believe that a forced marriage is completely wrong,’ says Saba.
‘I can’t imagine how I would feel if someone told me that I had to have a forced marriage.
‘I believe that both women and men have a choice as to who they want to get married to and it is not the choice of others to control their future.
‘Individuals who are being forced to get married or know of someone who is getting a forced marriage should seek help.
'If you do not want to get married then you shouldn’t. There is help out there.’
A forced marriage is where one or both people do not consent to the marriage and pressure or abuse is used. The practice is illegal in the UK.
Families may force their children to marry for a variety of cultural values, often based around the concepts of reputation and honour, or for financial reasons. No major religion advocates the practice.
While Saba has never been pressured to enter a forced marriage herself, her group’s film is based on the experiences of young people from Calderdale who have first-hand experience of forced marriage.
‘Forced marriage is happening to young people from the UK but very often it goes under the radar and doesn’t get talked about because people feel it brings shame onto the family,’ says Saba.
‘For many people, they are told they are going on holiday and the next thing they know they are getting married abroad.’
By highlighting the issue, Saba and her team hope to show young people at risk that help is available, and that they have a right to say no if they are being pressured into to marrying someone against their will.
This Fixers campaign is supported by Comic Relief.
To find other resources on this topic, and watch Fixers films, click on the image below.
*Saba wants to be referred to by her first name only.