Jasvinder Sanghera

Battling Jasvinder Sanghera was just 14 when her mum showed her a picture of the man she would wed.  Two years later she ran away to escape the marriage.

 

Disowned by her parents she lived in hiding for eight years, sleeping rough and fearing reprisals from her family, who moved to Britain from India in the 1950s.

But after her elder sister Robina, 24, set herself alight to escape her own abusive marriage, Jasvinder returned to her home town of Derby determined to help others suffering in silence.

She set up the charity Karma Nirvana in 1994 and has dedicated her life to helping men and women fleeing forced marriages, domestic violence and threats of honour killings.

Despite death threats and constant harassment, Jasvinder, now 44, campaigns tirelessly - telling her own story to encourage others to break their silence.

Her helpline, The Honour Network, receives more than 300 calls per month, some from girls as young as 11.

Her team works with Refuge to find safe havens for those with nowhere to run.

Jasvinder, who has written two best-sellers, says: "Robina's death was the trigger for me to come out of hiding - to hold my head up and say, 'You are the perpetrators, not me'."

 

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