Daily Mail (London), February 23, 2011
A brave teenager has spoken for the first time of the harrowing ordeal of being beaten up in an arranged marriage after her father tried to sell her for £10,000.
The 15-year-old girl was tricked into flying to Pakistan then forced to marry a 31-year-old man so he could get a British passport.
She has described how she feared she would die after being hit, scarred with broken glass and locked up for refusing to get married.
Her harrowing story has been revealed as part of BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat investigation into forced marriages.
The girl, who would not be named, said: ‘It was just about the money. He was literally selling me and my nationality so I could bring the person back.
‘In pounds, it would have been about £10,000.
‘He whacked me across the face, then I started rebelling more, saying “no”.
Then he got a glass and scarred my arms. He had somebody holding me from behind and he got a glass and was cutting very deep.
‘I thought he might kill me. I thought I was going to die.’
The beatings started when the young girl refused to get married. She was then locked up without food or water.
Fortunately she summoned her strength and escaped to the British High Commission in Pakistan. She then returned home and was reunited with her worried mother.
Figures obtained by Newsbeat show that her ordeal is one of many suffered by an estimated 1,735 potential forced marriages involving British citizens in 2010.
It is believed that a third of the girls in arranged marriages are under 18. Newsbeat claims that the youngest was just 13.
Campaigners against forced marriages have now called for more awareness of the problem which is largely confined to Asian communities.
Jeremy Browne, the minister in joint charge of the forced marriage unit, said: ‘We think it’s a genuine priority, we want to help people.’