YEP Says: Backing the fight to eradicate honour violence

IF NISHA's ordeal was an isolated one, it would be bad enough.

Monday, 7th March 2016, 8:38 am
Updated Monday, 7th March 2016, 8:41 am

That many young women have had to endure similar experiences is a reminder that our society still has a long way to go to eradicate honour-based violence and forced marriage.

The Karma Nirvana charity took 126 calls from victims in Leeds last year and 358 from West Yorkshire.

“Without a doubt, Leeds has more cases than what we are seeing reflected in the figures,” said charity founder Jasvinder Sanghera.

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“The worrying thing is there are young people across the city that don’t know that forced marriage is a criminal offence and it is wrong. They have taught to be silent.

“It is under-reported and we have a duty to bring it above the ground.

“We want an increase in the number of cases being reported, to reduce isolation and ultimately save lives.”

There is hope, as Nisha demonstrated when she managed to break free from her domestic prison.

But it took tremendous bravery and courage and not all stories will have such a comparatively happy ending.

It is vital that charities like Karma Nirvana get the resources they need to continue their important work.