The Honourable Hall is a celebration of survivors. Rather than feeling ‘shame’ or ‘dishonour,’ we want our Survivor Ambassadors to feel proud of the amazing things they’ve achieved in the space that they've courageously created.
Lucky Roy Singh’s Poem
Lucky Roy Singh
‘Locked in a cupboard, I feel it's hard to breathe,
Hard to concede my fate,
What will become of me,
Will death give me freedom or torment to me to my very last breath,
Is honour worth more than someone's life,
My tears and emotions are gripping, the walls are closing in as I weep in my Big Indian Heels.’
"I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me"
Survivor of Forced Marriage / Honour Based Violence, estranged from family for over 18 yrs
If you think that suicide's selfish, then you've obviously never been suicidal, writes Ayesha.
I still remember the night I tried to commit suicide as if it was yesterday. I used to self-harm by cutting myself but yet when it came to ending my life, I just couldn't do it.
What drives a person to want to kill themselves? What makes a person believe that they have no other option? That they feel they are worthless, not valued, not loved? That they are nothing? I was given an ultimatum by my Mum. Being given that ultimatum, made me realise that the only choices I had were to have a shit life or a shitter life. It made me realise that no-one was going to defend or save me, especially not my family. So, I went home, closed the door on the world and tried to end my life. I believed that having no life was better than having this life.
I left home when I was 18. It wasn't the “done thing” for a Pakistani Muslim girl. Except I didn't see myself that way. I saw myself as a British girl, born and bred in the UK with a split personality. The real me and the me when I was at home having my life planned out. My family didn't handle me leaving very well and after three months of emotional blackmail, I eventually returned home depressed and exhausted.
A few weeks later, I agreed to go on holiday to Pakistan with my dad and brother to visit my grandparents. While I was out there, I discovered what my punishment was to be for leaving home. The next couple of weeks passed by in a daze. The reality of the situation didn't hit me until it was too late.
He sat down on the bed next to me. I asked if we could talk and get to know each other. He laughed at me and forced himself on top of me. He started kissing me and pulling my clothes off —whilst I lay there frozen letting him rape me.
This was my “wedding night?” Growing up I wasn't even allowed to talk to boys, and now my family had put me in this predicament. I was in a foreign country where I knew no-one and I could barely speak the language. I was trapped.
Over the next few years I was subjected to emotional and physical abuse by my “husband." Following yet another argument where he told my parents that he didn't want to “keep me anymore," my mum replied: “Beg him to forgive you and take you back or you can get the divorce you’ve wanted. However, because you're damaged goods, no one else will want you except an older widower, who just needs looking after.”
No-one commits suicide because they want to die. They just want the pain to stop and want to be saved. I was lucky, because when I was trying to end my life somebody saved me.
Poem by Nisha
Every year this day comes, a girl feels like hiding away,
In a dark corner unseen, unknown, unheard.
Bury my head away, wondering why this day comes
Why does this day exist?
Crying myself to sleep I wonder what I had done to live like this
Why was I born?
I am an orphan, knowing a child unwanted
Dark and dull as though I am the mud they want to wash off
A walking statue who exists but her mind and soul lost in another world
She does not know who she is anymore
This is the day she hates herself even more
All she seems to do is leave wounds
She waits for the day to pass by as though it never came
She realises the world is unfair
She thought by leaving home her problems would be less but they seem to be never ending
She is a child just like others wanting to be loved, cared instead she is used and abused
No one around to wipe her tears
Those tears running down her cheek, throat hurting as though she swallowed a stone,
She is alone, so alone she wants to leave this world unknown
Do I fall or do I stay and carry on?
Reflections by Nisha
"It was easier to end my life but just like blowing a candle and making a wish, I wished every woman had the courage to stand up and be able to live their lives according to their aspirations. This would only happen if I myself also thought that way and did not become another of Britain’s lost women due to honour based abuse and forced marriage".
The words above I wrote on my 19th birthday, having left home for the first time in life. Vulnerable I was and unfamiliar of what the outside world was like. Imagining everyone would understand my pain - I was wrong.
However here I stand today 23 years old still going and standing strong, those hurdles and barriers are continuous, they have not ended but I stand by my decision. Still disowned by family but I am glad I did not disown my dreams. I live with the hope one day there will be a change for those who are suffering in silence, they get the courage to live for themselves.
Although I said I want to leave this world unknown, today I wish I leave this world making a change, that day on my birthday I had a gift for myself and that was owning my own life.
The world is a strange place, you have happiness and then sadness, you want joy but you have to earn it.
Nothing comes for free, I try and think about this new beginning but every corner I see betrayal
No way of pleasing anyone, my head is full of worries, thinking what is next?
Preparing myself for a battle even though my body is suffering
There is pain, who can hear me? please stop those knifes from cutting into me,
The stiff neck and weight on my shoulders, why carry this sack of burdens?
Sleep has become a worry, a black hole full of misery
I see people running after me trying to kill me,
Those people who are supposed to be my own,
Why so cruel? no shower of love only a battle of honour and pride,
I try and forget until my mind’s suffering, shooting pains too much to bear,
I know I will get past this, because I have to, I want to,
I want to live a happy peaceful life
Can you help me?