Rubie

My professional shot for LinkedIn made me feel I was someone important, worthy of being taken seriously. Many people didn't think I would become someone who is worthy of an opinion.

"I soon got married to a man twice my age. I got raped until I became pregnant as a guarantee for his child to be British born"

My parents were born in Bangladesh and moved here in the 70s and we resided in Wales. I have a big family made up of four brothers and sisters. When I was 15 years old, my older sister left home to live a life of happiness with her fiancé. My father was not happy with this news and the community that I lived in did not find it acceptable either. My father and uncles were mortified and said she had brought shame to the family and their reputation was ruined.

Soon afterwards, I and my younger siblings were taken to Bangladesh for the summer holidays, but we ended up staying there for 11 months in total. For the first six months, I enjoyed exploring my culture and the experiences of my parents’ homeland. Until my father told me that I would be getting married. Unknown to me, all along I was being held like a prisoner.

I soon got married to a man twice my age. I got raped until I became pregnant as a guarantee for his child to be British born and to enable him to come over to the UK. I fell seriously ill and came home. I also tried to take my own life. I didn’t succeed and became desperate, so I ran away from home with another man and had a second child from an abusive relationship. I lived my life in a dysfunctional way and became very depressed...

For the past six years I have focused on personal development and education. I have started to enjoy my life and work towards achieving my passions and hobbies, which I did not have before.

I am now a Galaxy Pageant Queen and involved with raising awareness and fundraising for various causes. I stand before you as a proud Survivor Ambassador to share my experiences in order to raise awareness on situations that are happening today, here in the UK.

What has been the impact of becoming a Survivor Ambassador?

The impact of being a Survivor Ambassador has been immensely positive. It's helped me to grow confidence with speaking out about my experiences of honour violence and forced marriage to the public and to professionals.

When it comes to raising awareness with the public, I have learnt to direct people needing help to the right place to access the best advice and support and give these people the sense that there is hope.

I keep learning from the other members that this abuse happens in so many ways and I’m becoming more aware of sensitive issues that I did not know of before.

We grow together as Survivor Ambassador Programme members. It’s an unbreakable bond that we form, and we support one another.

It's an amazing feeling to know I can help by being part of Karma Nirvana and I keep growing.

Join us in breaking the silence.

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