VULNERABLE young Bournemouth and Poole women are most likely suffering shocking honour-based violence and forced marriage in silence, according to leading charity Karma Nirvana.
Charity founder Jasvinder Sanghera, who established the organisation after surviving forced marriage and honour abuse herself, said 22 desperate calls from this area had been logged with the charity’s helpline during the past 10 months.
“Some of these cases involved harassment, forced marriage and honour abuse, risk of kidnap, abduction and rape,” Jasvinder revealed.
“My aim is to dispel the myth that because you don’t have a significant visible minority here, that it is not an issue for Bournemouth and Poole.” On Thursday, speaking after addressing a conference at Poole’s Salterns Hotel, Jasvinder said: “The fact you have no significant minority community here means it is more of an issue, because minority groups here are going to be much more isolated.”
This conference, to highlight forced marriage and honour-based abuse in Britain, was organised ahead of International Women’s Day, and was attended by Detective Chief Inspector Clive Driscoll, of London’s Metropolitan Police. The murder squad detective, who led the Stephen Lawrence inquiry for eight years, eventually securing convictions of two of the thugs responsible for that killing, said it was an “absolute privilege” to attend.
“You can see if someone is missing, if they are frightened, if they are being pulled down a path they don’t want to go,” he said. “If you notice your next door neighbour is being battered, or the 14-year-old girl next door has gone missing, report it. Everyone can play a part in keeping people safe.”