Written by FEjobs.com
Tuesday 17th July 2018
As a Guardian article notes, all pupils at the
Co-operative academy in Harehills have received their own spoon as part of an
initiative to raise awareness of ‘honour’-based abuse and forced marriage.
The academy’s social, culture
and ethos leader, Harinder Kaur, said that a hidden spoon could offer a
practical solution for literally raising the alarm, making the authorities
aware and potentially saving a young girl from forced marriage.
A recent Guardian investigation
showed there were more than 3,500 reports of forced marriage made to the police
in three years. In May, a mother from Birmingham was jailed for four-and-a-half
years for tricking her 17 year-old daughter into marrying a man 16 years her
senior in Pakistan.
The summer holidays are a prime
time for parents to take their daughters abroad for forced marriages. The
academy is working hand-in-hand with Derby-based charity Karma Nirvana, which
campaigns against ‘honour’-based abuse and forced marriage, and educates pupils
about the associated risks.
In 2017 alone, the charity
received almost 9,000 calls on its forced marriage helpline, with nearly 200 of
these made on behalf of a child aged 15 or under.
Kaur commented that her school
had planned a week of events to coincide with Karma Nirvana’s yearly memory day
to honour and remember those who have died as a result of ‘honour’-based abuse.
A number of former victims have
visited the school to talk to pupils. “As educators, we have a responsibility
to empower children with the knowledge and ability to make a difference to
their own lives and the lives of others,” Kaur said.
Head of learning and development
at the charity, Natasha Rattu, spoke of the past success of the spoon method.
Yet, as well as offering it as practical advice, the main goal was to raise
awareness of forced marriage and ‘honour’-based abuse among young people who
may not even realise they are victims.
Natasha explained how girls are
usually conditioned from a young age to believe it normal to be taken abroad to
marry, and added how calls to the charity peak during summer months. “The
summer holiday is the ideal time for parents who want to take their child
abroad to be married because the school won’t be looking for where they are.”
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