A charity based in Derby, England has found a solution to save British youths from arranged marriage in a foreign land, and that trick is by putting a metal spoon in their underwear.
The concealed spoon sets off the metal detector at the airport in Britain and the teenagers can be taken away from their parents to be searched, or in this case, escape a marriage to someone they have never met in a country they have never seen before.
The spoon trick is the brainchild of the Karma Nirvana charity, which supports victims and survivors of forced marriage. It fields 6,500 calls per year from around Britain and has almost reached that point in 2013 as awareness of the issue grows.
The British government says that mostly girls aged 15 and 16 were being taken abroad on “holiday”, in fact for a marriage without consent during British school summer holidays.
“If the victim don’t know exactly when it may happen or if it’s going to happen, the charity advised them to put a spoon in their underwear. When they go though security, it will highlight this object in a private area and, if 16 or over, they will be taken to a safe space where they have that one last opportunity to disclose they’re being forced to marry,” said Natasha Rattu, Karma Nirvana’s operations manager.
Marriages without consent, or their refusal, have led to suicides and so-called honour killings, shocking a nation widely deemed to have successfully absorbed immigrant communities and customs. Officials fear the number of victims coming forward is just the tip of the iceberg, with few community leaders prepared to speak out and risk losing their support base.
Last year, the Foreign Office’s Forced Marriage Unit dealt with some 1,500 cases — 18 percent of them men. One-third of cases involved children aged under 17. The oldest victim was aged 71; the youngest just two.
The cases related to 60 countries: almost half were linked to Pakistan, 11 percent to Bangladesh, eight percent to India, and two percent to Afghanistan. Other countries were Somalia, Turkey and Iraq.
If you know anyone in this current situation, spread the news and do not hesitate to lodge a police report or call Talian Nur at 15999.