My parents don’t let me continue my education. What can I do?

Education is vital for any child. It provides you with the skill set needed for you to live your life as an independent and successful adult as you grow older.
In the UK, if you are under 16, you are legally required to attend school full-time until the end of the academic year when you turn 16. Between the age of 16-18 (school years 12&13) you must stay in some type of education or training; this can include full-time education at college, an apprenticeship, or part-time education or training. It is illegal for you to leave the education system until the end of the academic year when you turn 18. These details can be found on the UK government website https://www.gov.uk/know-when-you-can-leave-school .
Sometimes parents may attempt to take you out of education before you are legally allowed to, or stop your continuing onto the path of your choosing after high school or college. Often this can be because they have other aspirations for you in accordance with cultural or religious expectations, whether that be staying at and taking care of the home, or getting married.
They may argue that it is a matter of ‘honor’ for the family for you to be married and follow a traditional path, and that continuing with your education would be an infringement of this ideal. They can sometimes use physical, emotional, financial or sexual pressure to coerce you into subjugation; this form of domestic abuse, perpetrated in the name of so called ‘honor’, is known as honor based abuse.
It is important that you remember that you have the right to make your own decisions about your education and your future, and nobody can force you to stop your education and/or get married until you want to. There is nothing ‘honorable’ in your parents constraining you and preventing you from living your own life.
If this is happening to you, there are people that can help you discuss your options and find support. If you feel as though you cannot talk to your parents, or all your attempts to convince them to allow you to continue education have failed, organizations like ourselves/Karma Nirvana have helplines that you can call, where you can speak to someone who can provide you with confidential guidance and advice. If your education is directly affected by a potential forced marriage, you can also speak to the government’s Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) on their helpline (telephone: +44 (0) 20 7008 0151) , who can provide you with assistance with escaping the marriage and, once your immediate safeguarding priorities are taken care of, continuing your education to gain new skills and knowledge.