Jasvinder Sanghera: Speaking out on Forced Marriage

I have just shared a platform with other campaigners speaking on injustice. I often feel quite alone on this journey, as one who has met with unpopularity, risk and been disowned by family. Today reminds me of how very wrong that sentiment is, as there are many people just like me. This experience is part of the journey to greater things.

My decision at 16 to leave a forced marriage, as with other campaigners, leaves a legacy, and Hay Festival enables us to reach many who will form part of that journey. I feel inspired, energised after two weeks of campaigning raising awareness of the forthcoming UK law against forced marriage, which comes into effect on 16 June.

It was perfect timing to receive hugs and encouragement from many in the audience. When Karma Nirvana was born in 1993 after my dear sister’s suicide [she set herself on fire and died aged 24 because her husband was abusing her], I vowed to break her silence and mine through Karma Nirvana’s work and I hope that every story in the book, ‘Here We Stand’, will make a difference but also remind people of the power they hold and how, when you hit a wall or are told ‘NO’, it is merely an opportunity to make a bigger difference!

A link to the article can be found here.