A respected author, campaigner and advocate for the rights of those experiencing forced marriage and abuse made a visit to St John Bosco Arts College in Liverpool to tell pupils about her story and campaign.
Jasvinder Sanghera CBE delivered an inspirational talk relating to her own experience of being promised into marriage at the age of eight. She talked about her triumph over adversity and how she established a safe network for women through the charity Karma Nirvana.
Year 11, 12 and 13 students attended the talk on 16 January which took place in The Hill, St John Bosco’s new assembly area. Sanghera shared her first-hand knowledge of forced marriages and discussed her drive to raise awareness about their prevalence in this country. Pupils were then able to ask questions during a Q&A session which prompted further discussion.
St John Bosco’s headteacher, Anne Pontifex, said: "It has been wonderful to welcome Jasvinder Sanghera to our school. She is an inspirational woman and a great role model for our girls. Our students were moved by her story and empowered by the work she continues to do for not only women, but all victims of forced marriage and abuse. We would like to thank Jasvinder for joining us and providing our students with a morning they won’t forget.”
Sanghera’s charity, Karma Nirvana, was established in 1993, initially as a local project to support women experiencing language and cultural barriers. Since its inception, it has developed into an international project which also supports men and couples. In addition, the charity is responsible for the National Honour Network Helpline, the UK’s first helpline dedicated to supporting victims of forced marriage and honour-based abuse.
Since the success of her debut novel, 'Shame', Sanghera has been applauded for her campaigning and relentless lobbying of government to criminalise forced marriage, with Prime Minister David Cameron quoted as stating how Jasvinder has “turned his head on the issues of forced marriages”.
For more information, go to: http://www.karmanirvana.org.uk/