Forced Marriage and Torture

26 Oct

From BBC News comes this horrible story of a young lesbian forced into marriage, locked up, and tortured.

In a desperate attempt to force the situation, her father even signed her away in an Islamic marriage to a man in another country, who she had never met.

Reviva, who was still at school, used her impending exams as a delaying tactic to ensure the relationship was never consummated and it was ultimately annulled.

Far from ending, her ordeal intensified. The troubled teenager was taken to her grandmother’s house in the Middle East where, as she recalls with a chilling lack of emotion, her parents tried persuading her to take her own life.

“I was damaging the family honour. I was making the family looking like a modernised, westernised, filthy family. So what they wanted to do is get rid of what is damaging the honour.

“They put you in a room on your own, I don’t get any food, or any water, and I have to just sit there and wait to die or kill myself.”

To aid the process, a gun, a knife, and pills were left in the room, along with a can of petrol and a box of matches. In her view, Reviva says it would have amounted to murder, not suicide, should she have decided to kill herself.

“But I wasn’t in a situation where I felt I have to end my life. Even if I was, I wouldn’t have done it the way they wanted me to do it.”

As we focus on domestic LGBT issues and the upcoming election it’s vital that we keep a sense of perspective on the freedoms we have here and the daily violence that exists for our brothers and sisters abroad.

This article also mentions several resources for people in these situations.  The Albert Kennedy Trust works with abused, homeless, and victimized young LGBT people.  The UK also has a dedicated Forced Marriage Unit that offers free counseling, confidential support, and action plans for forced marriage victims.


One Response to “Forced Marriage and Torture”

  1. Brian October 26, 2010 at 8:47 pm #

    As a person who was also once asked to take their own life because of their homosexuality, I can in some way relate to her feelings. I’m glad she thought the same thing that I did at the time … this is stupid, I don’t have to kill myself, and I have no desire to kill myself. You grow up, and I’m gonna go on being me.

    Of course I had it much easier than her, being in the U.S. and not being shipped off or locked in a room. So I’m happy that in the face of all that, she still had strength!

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