Trail-blazing Leeds project fighting forced marriage gets £18,000 funding

Jasvinder Sanghera.

Jasvinder Sanghera.

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A trail-blazing Leeds project fighting honour crime and forced marriage has been awarded a major funding boost of £18,500 for its work.

Karma Nirvana is one of 17 community projects that has been handed a share of £270,000 of Government funding as part of the Community Champion Programme.

Jasvinder Sanghera – a survivor of an attempted forced marriage herself – set up the charity back in 2008.

She has also spent decades campaigning and lobbying Government over the issue.

New legislation, which was introduced in June this year, has made forcing someone to marry against their will a criminal offence.

The money will be used to train up volunteers, who will work alongside official agencies dealing with forced marriage.

The charity also has a helpline, which has dealt with more than 30,000 calls nationally since its launch.

Karma Nirvana also delivers training to school children to help them make informed choices about marriage.

The funding comes after the recent International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women announcement, where a further £10million was pledged to support women’s refuges in 100 areas across the country.

Speaking about the recent funding announcement, Communities Minister Stephen Williams said: “I am proud that this Government is making good on its pledge at the International Girl Summit to invest in these valuable projects, which will change hearts and minds in local communities, train frontline workers and help bring an end to this terrible practice.”

For support from Karma Nirvana, call the helpline on 0800 599 9247.

For more information, visit the website at www.karmanirvana.org.uk.

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