Jasvinder Sanghera: I ran away to escape a forced marriage


Source: BBC

Jasvinder Sanghera was locked in a room by her parents when she was 16, when she refused to marry the man they had chosen for her. Here she describes how she escaped with the help of a secret boyfriend – but lost all contact with her family as a result.

Growing up we had no freedom whatsoever. Everything was watched, monitored and controlled. We understood that we had to be careful how we behaved so as not to shame the family.

I’m one of seven sisters and there’s only one younger than me so I’d watched my sisters having to be married at very young ages – as young as 15.

They would disappear to become a wife and go to India, come back, not go back to school and then go into these marriages and be physically and psychologically abused. And my impression of marriage was that this is what happens to you – you get married, you get beaten up, and then you’re told to stay there.

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