- Jasvinder’s personal account and experiences to date and her enthusiasm and dedication into helping agencies and victims to come through their experiences. Believe you covered everything very well - Avon & Somerset Constabulary
- Understanding the vital question ‘What does Izzat mean to you?’ – School teacher
- Survivor story was very useful, as it was motivating to see survivor back on her feet after such a low point. KN training should be compulsory in schools. – Liaison officer
East Ham, London:
- Whole of roadshow was valuable, in particular the survivor story , as it highlights that it happens across the board and not just less educated families. – Domestic abuse worker
- Thought provoking, learning about FMPOs I feel empowered to be able to support someone who identifies at being at risk – Independent Domestic Violence Advocate
- All the information given was interesting and expertly done. I have learned a lot from Karma Nirvana. – Refuge worker
- The whole roadshow was extremely valuable and I found both speakers excellent at deliverying their presentation. Very insightful and hard hitting story from your survivor. – Grampian Police
- All parts of the presentation by Natasha & the experience shared by the survivor. My understanding of forced marriage now is far better than before – Refuge worker
- Brilliant presentation, as well as personal experience that was very valuable. – WY Police
- Great presentation by Karma Nirvana! Very interesting & informative –to the point the experience shared by survivor really made a difference. – GP, Leeds
- Shockingly, thought provoking presentation. Well structured & easy to follow & understand – Barnardos
- Just begun my new job and this was very well timed, as it was very informative – Newcastle Children’s Services
- Very powerful with personal stories. More events like this is needed to emphasise extent of issue. – Derbyshire Police
- Has increased my awareness along with the awareness about the FM Act. A much improved and an experience that will stay fresh within my mind. – Derbyshire Probation Service
- Survivors story – courage to do this, not just to share your experience but to know you are helping professionals. – Health adviser
- All information very valuable – especially legal status as many of us are unaware. – Social worker
Richmond upon Thames:
- Lets get this helpline out there! Incredibly informative for such a short session. – Youth worker
- Really interesting seminar – it should be requirement for social workers for CPD. – Social Worker
Kingston upon Thames:
- I would like greater knowledge of KN to be rolled out throughout the NHS, esp. Primary Care
- Enlightening brilliant, especially with real life case study – Maidstone Council
- I’ll be adding information to our website & KN link – Medway Safeguarding Children’s Board
- Listening to personal testimony brought subject to different dimension, but was well understood with presentation – Kent Police
My name is Preet and I got involved with Karma Nirvana as a service user in 2005 when Jasvinder Sanghera launched her 1st book 'Shame'. When I was 22 yrs old, I fell in love with a Christian man and married him, but my family reacted as though I had dishonoured them.
My life at home has been completely restricted; at home I never had a life where I could express myself i.e., emotions. It all started after my father passed away he died on the 19th August 1995, my mother then remarried my fathers cousin by the end of that same year, later on as I got older I found out that my mother was having an affair with my fathers cousin while my father was dying of cancer.
I am a Muslim man and I was born and bred in Birmingham and went to a British school. At the age of 9 my parents took me out of school and got me engaged to my first cousin, at the time I thought it was just a party but it was actually my engagement. I did not realize this until later when the pressure to see this marriage through mounted. Up until the age of 24 my parents emotionally blackmailed & threatened me to for-fill the marriage at every time I protested, as she was a stranger to me. I was then taken to Pakistan under false pretences as I was told my Grandmother was very ill.
I left home when I was 13 because I felt that I was being forced into a marriage although I had refused it. I ran away from home, my sister who had been disowned by my parents who also suffered a forced marriage let me stay at her house. While I was staying at her house I had threatening phone calls from my parents and my brothers, they would also come and attempt to break the front door down. I lived there in fear of my parents and family. I was too afraid to go out, I sometimes didn't have the guts to go to school I was so confused, scared and isolated that I started to self- harm myself. It made me feel better because there was no other way I could get out the anger inside me. I felt worthless and unwanted.
My name is Serina I am 27 years old, at the age of 13 I was pulled out of secondary school. My parents kept me at home and would not allow me to go to school - at the age of 17 I got myself a job at a local warehouse as a picker and packer. I had been working there for a year and now was 18 years old. My parents then said to me that we were going to Pakistan on a family holiday, so I was very excited as I had not been on holiday before and excited to see my grandparents and extended family.
How has the service helped you?
• As a social worker I now feel more alert to the dangers of how the family will put pressure on the young person and use guilt to get them to return. I am more aware of risk indicators such as threatening to 'disown' the young person and domestic violence as increasing the risk. I am more aware that family's will respond in 'all is forgiven' ways to encourage a young person to return.
I have been given invaluable information about ensuring a paperless trail.
• Providing invaluable evidence for a refugee hearing
• I needed information on how to anonymise my client on GP records etc.
• Information on services available to people experiencing oppression within family/community
• I have been able to give information to a colleague who is being forced by her family to marry against her will.
What are the differences, if any, it has made?
• More knowledge to be able to move forward with my cases where young people have fled the risk of forced marriage.
• Feel stronger and more able to make decisions. I feel less isolated now.
• My client will be safer because I now know how to hide her identity more effectively.
• I have been provided with statutory guidance on working with people at risk of honour based violence and forced marriage. For example, prior to speaking with the helpline advisor, I was not aware of Forced Marriage Protection Orders -- I now am
• It has enabled me to help not only my colleague, but other colleagues who were getting distressed at her situation and seemed powerless to help.
Would you recommend this service to anyone else and reasons why?
• Yes. The service was very informative and has given me more confidence to work with young women in this situation.
• Gave credibility to the plight of my client.
• Yes. The person I spoke to was very helpful, knowledgeable and friendly.
• I think this is an amazing service.
• Definitely. I will share information with my colleagues and friends. It is imperative for social workers to work in partnership with other agencies when trying to support vulnerable adults. Karma Nirvana are able to bridge the gaps in knowledge that I may have in relation to honour based violence, forced marriage, experiences of people that are oppressed by their family/community
• Having signed a petition for you a while back I then received an extremely verbose and waffly government review of you. Having just phoned the help line I have heard that it looks as if you have funding from the home office. Well done. A very important service that needs to be led not just by the Forced Marriage Unit but by professionals like yourselves.
• I did contact your organisation about four years ago regarding my sister in law and you did help her for that I am very grateful to you. I would like to say a very big thank you. Please keep up the work that you all at karma nirvana are doing, you are changing people’s lives for the better
• Yes. The person I spoke to was very helpful and warm in her way of being, which is the first step in helping someone. The information I was given and the return phone call with the address of a shelter for my colleague, should she wish to contact them, was superb. I have been given leaflets and I shall pass these around my colleagues and appropriate centres where I work. Thank you.
Conference on ‘Assessing and Managing the Risk of Significant Harm in the Family’
Humber Family Justice Council, Hull, 25 March 2011
What aspects of the Conference did you find useful?
Karma Nirvana’s Regional Honour Based Abuse and Forced Marriage Conference
15 December 2010, Civic Hall, Leeds
“Excellent event – well presented & informative”
Please download our Feedback report on this event
Religious Studies Conference
Swanhurst School, Birmingham
21 July 2010, 20 July 2011 & 17 July 2012
‘Staying Safe Week’
9 December 2011, South Birmingham College
Sheffield College training on Forced Marriage & Honour Based Abuse
4 January 2010
Forced Marriage Training, Derby
23 March 2009