Case Studies

Seema is a professional woman in her mid twenties who approached Practical Solutions for advice and support regarding her situation. Seema had met Adeel through an introduction by mutual friends, and then became close. Seema expressed her desire to marry Adeel to her family, who were initially against the marriage. This was due to the fact that Seema and Adeel came from different backgrounds and clans, and this was unacceptable to Seema’s family.

Seema was given advice over a period of time of all the options available to her, and she chose to make a last attempt to her family to try and get their agreement. Her immediate family came round to the marriage, but a threat was posed by extended family members. We worked with other agencies to ensure that the marriage took place in a safe environment, and that both Seema and Adeel were protected throughout. We also took their long term welfare into consideration, and worked with the police to ensure that protection was provided.

Amir is a chartered surveyor, working across the country. He was referred to Practical Solutions by his friend, who was concerned about the changes in Amir’s behaviour. He had become increasingly withdrawn, was losing weight and seemed distracted. When questioned by his friend he disclosed that there was pressure being placed on him by his family to get married to a distant relative in India. Amir was unhappy with this, and when he spoke of his reluctance to his family, he was told that he would either have to go ahead with this marriage or leave home. Amir also told us that there was pressure being placed on his younger brother and sister to marry too.

We worked with housing associations, housing departments and charities to identify and locate a safe place for Amir to stay. Information about the Forced Marriage Act was also passed to Amir, and to his younger siblings.
Due to our intervention the family reconciled their differences and forced marriages did not take place.

Saniya and Rupali are two sisters, born and bred in the UK. At the ages of 15 and 16 they were taken to their parents’ country of origin and forced into marriage with two brothers, who were members of the extended family.

Both girls returned to the UK 5 months after the marriages, and both Saniya and Rupali were pregnant. A few months later both husbands joined their wives, and within a short time began to abuse Saniya and Rupali physically, sexually, emotionally and psychologically. After the birth of her daughter Saniya decided she would no longer tolerate this, and sought help to escape from her husband. She found there was little help for her, but managed to obtain a divorce. This led to her being ostracised from her family and community, and Saniya found herself alone with her daughter.

Rupali stayed with her husband and had another two children. However the abuse continued and in addition to this she was blamed for her sister’s failed marriage. In order to try and keep the peace Rupali agreed to a visit to her parents-in-law. On arrival, her passport along with her children’s’ passports were taken from her, and she was forbidden to leave the house alone, or to make phone calls to her family.

Saniya became very concerned for her sister and contacted us for help. We managed to make contact with Rupali and her children through the British Consulate, who carried out a welfare check. We discovered that an intricate “kidnap” was planned for Rupali, which was supposed to end with her death. The British Consulate removed Rupali and the children and re-patriated them to the UK, where with our help, they were taken to a place of safety and given support and help to rebuild their lives.

All of the names mentioned in the case studies above have been changed to protect the identity of the individuals.