The Independent on Sunday has a story about how some families are forcibly marrying off their disabled children to people from the subcontinent, who are then able to live in the UK. Some families believe that because of their children’s disabilities, this is the only way to get them married off, and this mindset is exacerbated by the fact that South Asian families are less likely to seek help from disabled organisations:
“Mandy Sanghera, a social worker with Voice UK, a charity which helps people with learning disabilities, believes that the emphasis must be on protecting vulnerable individuals rather than on the communities which are failing them. “In 15 years I have worked with more than 100 people with learning disabilities forced into marriage, from south Asian, African and Middle Eastern communities. Forget the political correctness: these human rights abuses are very real and need to be stopped,” she said.
Ms Sanghera worked with Rani, a woman in her twenties with learning difficulties and mental health problems. Rani’s mother felt under pressure from the community to arrange for her to marry an Indian man who needed a British passport. Her mother decided this would be a good match, believing that no one else would marry her. After a year of marriage, Rani suffered a miscarriage and it was discovered that Rani’s husband was physically abusing her and stealing her benefits to send to his family. But her family pressured her to stay with him for the sake of honour.”
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Filed in: 'Honour'-based violence,Current affairs