When “I Do” becomes “You Will”
Reuters recently reported that close to 4,000 women have been forced into marriage in the U.K. and the government is cracking down.
Apparently, forced marriage is a serious problem, and as we can imagine, difficult to identify due to fear and secrecy. In fact, it’s become such an issue that the government has dedicated a division, the Forced Marriage Unit, to unearth the troubling situations. In many cases, the victims do not know their “husband’s” identities and have no rights once they are legally wed.
Says an additional Yahoo piece:
A separate study to be released Tuesday highlights how many children have suddenly stopped attending school, amid fears that some have been forced into marriages against their will.
The BBC said it had been told by one teenage Pakistani girl that she was withdrawn from school aged 13, taken to Pakistan and forced to marry a man who raped her.
She blamed the authorities for failing to launch a search for her. "I think they let me down," she said. "I did still secretly think when I was in Pakistan, the school might search for me.
"Nobody looked for me. It was horrific."
We can’t imagine being stripped of our rights, and who knows where you have to go mentally to make it day-to-day in this sort of situation. We commend Britain’s government for recognizing the problem (see poster, left), and we just hope that those going through this can find a way to break the silence.
Photo: Reuters; Poster: AFP/HO/File Photo