Honour Based Abuse and Forced Marriage Resources
Honour Based Abuse and Forced Marriage Resources video transcript
My name is Shahina. I am in my early thirties, my childhood was a very happy one, up until 17. I felt that my parents and my family had given me a really good upbringing, very normal, went to school, had a really good set of friends at school, and felt that my family instilled really good morales, and teaching from right and wrong, very happy. There were specific rules - but they were done in a loving way, they weren't done in a way that was almost like a dictatorship. So, I was 17, I was studying for my A levels, I remember my mum knocking on my bedroom door. She came in and she said we were going on holiday. And, I was like - 'Where are we gonna go?' So super excited. And she said you're going to go to Bangladesh. I just couldn't wait, I was so excited. Beyond excited.
On the 11th day, my mother took me into a really small room, and in that small room, with a really small window, with bars at the end of it, I'd noticed the bed and the bedside table had the most beautiful red bridal gown, very intricate, lots and lots of gold detailing. She asked me to sit down, and I did, I was looking at everything within my surroundings, and then she handed me a card, and she said "Go on, open the card." And I did, and I remember the sort of gold and red embossing that went along the card.It wasn't anything fancy. And it basically was an invitation to my own wedding. The only information I was given was that the wedding had been booked, everybody had been invited, the cake had been baked, and all I needed to do was just to turn up. She walked out the room, she bolted the door, so I couldn't get out - and the wedding card said I would be getting married in two days. My whole body just started to panic, and shake, and my legs were just knocking, the knees were just knocking together, and I thought - What am I going to do? I'm stuck.
I didn't know where the nearest police station was, I didn't even know where the local shop was. I had no friends, or teachers, or social workers, there was no Facebook, there certainly was no mobile phone that I could call up. Just sheer shock and panic went through my body.
Fortunately for me, someone who I love very very dearly, had heard what was going to happen to me. An within those two days he had travelled, from the UK to Bangladesh to come and rescue me. He persuaded my family that if they did not release me he would have to go to the local authorities, and ultimately that's what worked for them to let me go.
I was... had lots of issues with sleepless nights, with feeling low in my mood, with paranoia, looking over my shoulder, would I be sent back? I'd wake up in the middle of the night with sort of cold sweats, thinking well, they've done this to me once, they're gonna do it to me again. What am I going to do? Because I've got nobody to go to. And I had no idea that i could go to the police, I had no idea I could go to my teacher. I had no idea that I could talk to someone.
The choices seemed even smaller. Now, I was without a family. Now there was no mum for me to go back to, because mum had hurt me so much. She had betrayed me. The trust was no longer there, she was my best friend, and this woman, had put me into a life of domesticity. With someone who was ultimately going to rape me. Was going to abuse me, physically, sexually, mentally. Probably financially. How could I trust these people?
Please talk to somebody. That could be anybody. Speak to somebody. Whether that is a teacher, whether that is you calling up 999 or 101. If you are suffering from HBA, or if you know someone who is, please call 101 or 999.You will be heard. All information will be treated confidentially. Your safety is our top priority.
Honour Based Abuse and Forced Marriage Resources
This is Shahina’s story. During a holiday to Bangladesh when she was 17-years-old, she was handed an invite to her own wedding by her mother and locked in a room to prevent her leaving. She had not met the man she was being forced to marry. Thankfully a friend helped Shahina to escape however she continued to be subjected to abuse when she returned to the UK.
Honour based abuse and forced marriage is a crime. It is an act that is committed to control behaviour within families or the community to protect cultural and religious beliefs. Victims are subjected to abuse in the name of honour including; forced marriage, physical and emotional abuse.
By sharing Shahina’s story we hope that we can raise awareness of this crime and encourage more victims to come forward and report incidents to the police. If you or someone you know is at risk of HBA please call us on 101 or 999 in an emergency. You will be listened to and your information will be treated confidentially. Your safety is our top priority.