Taken away


Like many girls, Nabila has a boyfriend. However, as the daughter of a conservative Muslim family, this puts her at risk…[H]er two elder brothers have subjected her to repeated beatings, one of which was so serious it resulted in a trip to hospital. Nabila’s schoolwork has suffered, partly as a result of the emotional trauma and partly because of the raging migraines she now gets through being repeatedly beaten about the head…Nabila is one of many victims of “honour-based” violence, which, at its most extreme, can see young women of south Asian and Kurdish origin being murdered by their families. This kind of abuse has its roots in the cultural concept of women’s chastity being in the control of the men in her family; any suggestion of independence is seen as defiling the family’s reputation or “honour”. It can occur in strict Muslim and also Sikh families.

So the girls disappear.

…a statistical analysis done several years ago by Bradford city council. It tracked 1,000 boys and 1,000 girls with Muslim names as they moved through school; at primary, for 1,000 boys on roll, there were 989 girls; by secondary, the 1,000 boys were still around, but the number of girls had dwindled to 860. Across the report the analyst had written: “Where have all the girls gone?” Balmforth, who gives talks to teachers and social workers, says the answer is that the girls have been taken to Bangladesh or Pakistan. In such cases, by the time teachers notice girls have disappeared, it is frequently too late to do anything. The pattern that leads to forced marriage tends to run as follows: emotional blackmail, threats, beatings, imprisonment and kidnap.

Read the whole dang thing.

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