Survivor Saliha’s first degree of success

Saliha Rashid with her degree at Leeds Trinity University
Saliha Rashid with her degree at Leeds Trinity University
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Inspirational survivor Saliha Rashid is now hoping to become a barrister after landing a top university degree.

The 21-year-old campaigner, who is registered blind, is a survivor of honour-based abuse.

And she has used her experiences to campaign for the rights of Asian women at a national level by speaking at the House of Lords.

She was presented with her first-class degree in psychology at Leeds Trinity University, in Horsforth.

Saliha, who fled from her family during her first year at university, is hoping to become a barrister in the field of criminal and human rights law.

She said: “It is unbelievable and I still have to pinch myself when I say that I have got a first degree.

“Everything in my life was controlled from the friends I had to where I went.

“I couldn’t have a phone until I was 18 and everything was in my family’s control.

“I made three attempts to leave but when I left two years ago that was the last time.

“Three years ago, I considered withdrawing from university.

“I was told that because I am blind and an Asian woman, I cannot have big aspirations.

“But something inside me said no.”

Saliha is also a volunteer for West Yorkshire charity Karma Nirvana and often provides support and advice to women who are struggling with honour-based violence and abuse.

Saliha added: “It is very empowering and I am inspired by every single survivor I speak to.

“It was a challenge to cope with my university work and I never thought that this would be possible.

“I did it and I don’t regret anything.

“I now realise that the world is my oyster and I can follow my dreams.”

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