So the headline reads Freedom charity saving lives. Behind every headline is a heart breaking story. When someone makes a decision to escape a forced marriage they may have no idea of how walking away from their family will affect their lives.
Today the BBC highlight the loneliness someone faces when they escape a forced marriage
Last day of university, a time of great joy and mixed emotion.
Leaving education behind to start a life of work and exploration.
For Kam the last day of University was the last time she saw her family.
Putting a pin in a map and choosing the furthest point from where you live is the start of how Kam escaped a forced marriage. Kam had seen the headline Freedom charity saving lives.
The idea of throwing your phone laptop all your worldly goods in the bin outside the coach station and starting again is unthinkable
Escaping a forced marriage leaving your family is not something someone takes lightly.
We know the summer holiday is when most people are likely to be taken abroad .
Two years ago almost to the day, Freedom got a call from Kam.
Kam was told that she would be getting married now she had finished university.
Be forced to marry a man she did not know. Forced to marry a man she did not love.
A forced marriage leads to a life of domestic abuse, abduction, serial rape and even murder in the most serious cases Freedom who has successfully saved lives of people escaping a forced marriage worked to ensure Kam was safe.
Rebuilding a life is never easy with just the clothes on your back and sorrow in your heart for a family and life that you are forced to leave behind.
Changing someone’s name a new identity and new location is just the start of the process.
For some who manage to escape a forced marriage, families will employ a bounty hunter to track down a once much loved child, sister, or niece.
‘Always looking over your shoulder’
‘scared you will be recognized’
Not being able to attend your own grandmothers funeral are just some of the fears Kam lives with.
So why leave?
Because sometimes leaving is the only option.
Yes, you love your family unconditionally.
But the horrors of forced marriage pose a greater fear.
Once rescued rebuilding a life is a struggle many face.
There may be a counsellor a social worker a police officer that’s given you their personal mobile and Freedom charity there to help support and encourage you find your feet. Freedom have a 24/7 helpline
But this won’t replace your real family.
Missing your mum, your dad, brothers and sisters, that doesn’t go away. Coming home and having no one to share your day with can feel lonely.
Life does get better.
People move on rebuild their lives.
Freedom charity saving lives is not being over dramatic. Someone being forced into marriage has caused many to take their own lives.
Find friends and new loves. They won’t replace parents, siblings but a new family support develops.
Watching Kam’s story will help us all understand the real isolation but hopefully the hope of a new, happy and fulfilled life.
A chance to be who you want to be. Freedom charity saving lives of the most vulnerable.