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Tag Archives: forced marriage

The post that never was…

When I was in India staying at babu’s parent’s house I wrote a post, but never published it, as although I’m pretty sure he didn’t remember I had this blog, I didn’t want him seeing it and I guess I didn’t want to put what I was saying out there, or perhaps for me it just made it all a bit too real.

I stumbled across this again today so thought I would share. Now knowing how the situation turned out – just as we had thought – I can see I spent too much time filled with false hope. But hey, hindsight is 20/20!

“I can’t say that any time in the last 3 years whilst away on holiday that I ever feel ready to go home, I know most people just get to a point where they are ready, I never did. Until now.

I’m sorry to say that I just want to go home. I feel completely isolated and lonely. At the beginning babu tried his best to translate most things, but after several days this wore thin on him, and I find myself in what I almost my 3rd day if complete isolation.

By isolation, I don’t mean I am alone, there are currently 5 people here… 5 people speaking Oriya all the time. I had a few historical facts conferred to me whilst visiting the sun temple yesterday, and I get told “wash your hands” “khaana” “pani” but that’s pretty much where it ends. 

When with his family Babu is a man of very few words towards me, and it’s not helping.

The only thing his dad said to me today was not to step over babu’s legs, a reprimand, not given in a harsh way but a reprimand none the less.

Yesterday I was put in front of the tv and the only English Channel switched on. This morning the same. I’m not a toddler and I’m not the sort of person who often watches tv either.

His dad speaks English, but struggles a little, I think he finds it hard, his sister did, during her education but has since lost all ability, his mum, none at all.

I have 5 more days to ride out here.

I now find myself isolating myself more and more, I don’t want to,  but I feel awkward, I don’t feel comfortable sitting with his family when I can’t understand what is going on at all. I’ve tried it, but when I here my name or a glance is made towards be when they are laughing I can’t help but feel paranoid. I am currently sat on the roof.

I don’t wish to talk about what this means for the future, I think this is something for babu and I to discuss, I just thank god that I didn’t gather my belongings, and emigrate into this life completely blind.

5 more days…. Maybe something will change.. Likely not… But need to stay positive.

Until then…..

Location:India

I’ll update you guys soon on how my life is moving on and changing, until then, love to all

R x

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Misplaced Loyalty Toward Hurtful Parents

Misplaced Loyalty Toward Hurtful Parents.

The above article has helped me in my understanding of the situation.

Sadly Babu has decided he has to do whatever it takes to ensure his parents are happy. His parents who have abused him, threatened his life, and locked him away without food for days on end. It’s hard to swallow, and extremely difficult to understand, however before judging, please read this article – by identifying this as an abusive situation, and the relationship a victim has with their abuser, it is easier to fathom, yet never acceptable.

I have left him with a folder of information, contacts, and this article, there’s sadly not much more I can for him. I can’t cut him off, I love him a lot, and him me, but for now it is best for both of us that we keep a degree of distance.

I turned 30 this week, I’m not exactly where I thought I would be in life right now, but what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger?

And if you’re reading this, thanks for coming back after the blog being switched off for a while, I hope you can understand my reasons for having to do that.


Feelings

I’ve been fighting a battle with myself, and only yesterday did I admit defeat, I admitted to myself that I do love him still, and you know what? That’s OK. Because our relationship came to quite an abrupt end and feelings just don’t go away in a blink of an eye, and with recent news, and so little communication, it’ll take a while to find closure.

He has to travel to Mumbai for his medical this week, he is staying with a close friend of whom he used to rent a room from, I met her when I was there last year, sweet girl. This got me thinking about how much his ‘wife’ does not have, apart from illegitimate marriage papers and a new family home.

…you see… I know him, I know his friends, I’ve met more of his family than she has, I know his shoe size, his jeans size, I know which brand of razor he prefers, which toothpaste he buys. I know stories of his childhood, he knows mine, he knows my family, he loves my pets as I do, I know what food he likes, I know his favourite restaurant in Lanzarote, what he likes to watch on TV, I know his daily routine, I know how he pronounces ‘sh’ instead of ‘s’ which is always hilarious when he offers you to ‘sit here’ ….she doesn’t have that.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and just because this woman has been forced into his life, it shouldn’t belittle what we have…or had….it was real, we took years to grow and understand each other so deeply. I mustn’t convince myself otherwise. He might choose to stick with it, with her, even if he doesn’t, who knows what the future holds, but I am learning, day by day, that I mustn’t let this anonymous woman, and those people who call themselves parents, take what we had away. I existed in his life, and I do still exist out of it.

Now I just need to learn to accept it… whatever ‘it’ is


The facts.

I’ve been doing my research on marriage and forced marriage, and thought it good to share my findings. I apologise for not referencing the original sources as to be honest I was on a mad copy and paste mission, but I feel it could be helpful to share the information I have found and I will keep updating as I get more. If any of the below is your content please let me know so I can credit you.

 

What’s the difference between a forced marriage and an arranged marriage?

In an arranged marriage, families choose their child’s partner but both individuals can decide whether or not to accept it. A forced marriage involves a young person being told they have to marry even though they don’t want to.

  • Are you being forced to marry against your will?
  • Are you being pressurised to enter a marriage you are unsure about?
  • Are you worried that you will let your family down if you say ‘no’ to an arranged marriage?

Of course, there is a different between a forced marriage and an arranged marriage. An arranged marriage is when the family of the spouses take a leading role within setting up the marriage, but are given consent to do so by the couple themselves. However, in a forced marriage one or both of the individuals don’t consent to the arrangement and they are under coercion or duress.

 

Can men be forced to marry?

Yes, and the number is growing.

Approximately 15% of the cases dealt with by the FMU are men, but it’s on the rise. “It’s hard for men to come forward because of the belief that they’re ‘macho’,” says Imran Rehman, a support worker forKarma Nirvana, an organisation that offers support and help for victims of forced marriage. “If men have issues in forced marriage or domestic violence, we can give one-to-one emotional support. We understand the issues of what men and women are going through and can refer them to a refuge or safe house.

 

What constitutes an official marriage in India?

Hindus can opt for a civil marriage, often incorrectly referred to as a “court marriage,” under the Special Marriage Act, 1954. Provisions in the Act govern civil marriages and require no religious ritual or ceremony of any kind. The necessary requirement is that the persons intending to marry inform the marriage officer of the district in which at least one of them lives. The marriage officer then posts the information on a public notice board and keeps it up for 30 days. During those 30 days, any person can object to the marriage on grounds such as the intended bride is under age or that she is too closely related to the bridegroom or that she has been married before. If no valid objections are received, the couple signs a declaration in the marriage office in the presence of three witnesses. The marriage officer then issues a certificate of marriage to the couple as proof of the marriage. The Special Marriage Act, in S.21-A clearly states that if a special or civil marriage takes place between two persons both of whom are Hindus, Buddhist, Sikh or Jain, such persons continue to be governed by other aspects of Hindu personal law, such as the law relating to succession. – See more at: http://indiatogether.org/manushi/issue136/hml.htm#sthash.1GdjrOKm.dpuf

 

If a woman has been forced into a marriage, is such a marriage void or voidable? What if a fraud has been played on her?

Such marriages are voidable. If the consent of the complaining party has been obtained by force or by fraud relating to the nature of the ceremony performed or to any significant fact or circumstance concerning the opposing party, the marriage can be voided. However, a petition for annulment in such a case must be presented within one year after the force ceased to operate or the fraud has been discovered. Most important of all, the petitioner or complaining party should not have lived willingly with the other after the end of the force or after discovering the fraud. A marriage is also voidable if it can be proven that the wife was pregnant at the time of marriage by another man. In this situation the husband must file his petition within one year of the date of the marriage.

 

Where can I get help?

http://www.karmanirvana.org.uk/ | 0800 5999 247 

http://www.plan-uk.org/

http://lovecommandos.org/ |09313784375 |09313550006 |info@lovecommandos.orghelpline@lovecommandos.org

 


One week on

A week ago he was married.

There have been tears, there has been pain, there has been nothing at all at times. It’s been a roller coaster at the best of times.

For a few days there was no contact –  I had nothing to say to him and could only assume her was pre-occupied. Then I lost it. I went on to Facebook to see if any of our mutual friends – well, friends I had met through him, had any clues as to what was going on, only to find that his two closest friends – had blocked me and the other de-friended me – Babu had already removed me – most likely in the quest to hide my assistance.  I went ape, I wrote him a really long email saying how it is so unnecessary to make his friends do that, how i feel betrayed, lied to, that he must have know all along and that he is covering his tracks etc etc ect….. when I don’t get answers, I fill in the gaps myself you see.

Almost a day later I get a very offended message, he maintains he didn’t know properly until a few days before. But the deed was done, he was married. And he was a good little husband performing the ‘formalities’ of that as he put it. the thought sickens me even now. He tells me that he felt pressured to do that as it is what he was ‘supposed’ to do it, he hasn’t been near her since but the deed it done and there’s no going back on that.

I swore at him a lot that day, and the man who wouldn’t usually tolerate an ounce of it, took it all on the nose, I’ve never said ‘f**k you’ to any one, especially the amount of times I said it to him that day, in hindsight it was harsh, but it was how I was feeling.

On Christmas day I woke up to missed calls, video calls, voicemail and messages. I want expecting to hear from him at all, and oh boy it hit me. He wanted to wish me merry Christmas, in a way i felt relieved that he was thinking of me because before that I was feeling like I had been dropped like a hot potato, that perhaps I was nothing at all to him – your mind plays nasty tricks on you when you’re in a bad place. He had tried me at 4.30 that morning then 4 hours later without a reply and he was getting worried, I replied when I woke up.

So on Christmas day I learnt a little more. I can’t remember if I wrote about how he was due to have some land signed over to him? It was owned by his dad and his uncles, and they were splitting it up to make it’s management easier.  So last week he went to their village to sign the papers. Only it has since transpired these were marriage documents. He didn’t look, like most of us do so often, he just signed. It was then that I began to see that it wasn’t so much that he felt ‘obliged’ to be married, more he was forced.

He contacted me again today, today I have learnt that he did not meet her until they were married, ie they were not present in the room together, and I have since looked into it and found that officially the papers should be signed in front of 3 witnesses – this didn’t happen from what I can gather. marriage isn’t legitimate, but I haven’t yet had the opportunity to tell him this.

I asked if he had met her parents – surely they had met him and approved him first? No.  as I said before, she was just brought to his house and presented to him as his wife. Now I know I’m not as clued up on culture as others may be but even I know that’s not right. No self-respecting family would marry off their daughter to a boy they had never met surely? And more so in a quick clandestine marriage rather then showing it off with all the pomp and circumstance of a Hindu ceremony? There has to be more to it, a secret? perhaps she has brought shame to her family and needed a quick solution – that with his parents needing to marry him off to gain a housemaid quickly before he went back to work it must have been a marriage of convenience. Sorry… I should say ‘Marriage’.

Anyway, he told me he is due to meet her parents at their house on Wednesday, I have my suspicions that a Hindu ceremony might take place that day.

But him, well, it’s becoming clearer every time that I speak to him that he isn’t facing the reality as easy as he thought. I think he thought that he could do his duty as his parents wish and try and get on with it, the reality is a bit different. He sounds lost,  he’s lonely – he’s avoiding her, and avoiding his family – He thought the world of his family but I feel this time they have taken it a bit too far. All he told me is he just wants to get away from there. I told him he can’t work away forever, and that if that’s to continue to be his reality he must face it, or take action. He said he just needs to get away back to work and then make a plan. When I tell him he has options, he’s not telling of his loyalty to his parents any more.

What has happened has hurt me immensely, and please don’t take the above as me having hope for us, I’m near enough to accepting that there is no hope for us together, yet I can’t still stand by and watch this happening to him so I will still do everything I can to offer him the help and support he needs to get out of it, if he wants to.

I have contacted a charity for advice, Karma Nirvana, they can be contacted via their website or directly on 0800 5999 247. I want to be in a position where I can help him get he advice he needs if he wants it. If that is the case I’m really hoping his employer will be able to help him as well, he will be back for 9 months. Lets hope that one time he did that that it didn’t make a new little life hey, babies should be born through love.

So that’s the story in brief so far.

Me… well with the support of my very supportive managers at work – I will be seeking out some counselling to help me learn to deal with what has happened and to learn to accept and move on.

I’ll keep in touch and update soon for sure.

Lots of love and many thanks for all of the lovely support and messages I have received from so many of you recently.

And if I’m not back before, have a happy new year

R x

 

I’ve been doing a bit of research, find information and help here 

 


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