Photo: British Red Cross
Today, Alyin’s extremely proud of what she’s achieved in just one year. She’s completed her certificate in Aged Care, found a job, and built herself a support network through the church where she volunteers and is a valued member of.
This time last year her life looked very different. She’d done one of the bravest things anyone can do, and left a violent relationship with her ex-partner, whom she had been forced to marry. She has no other family in Australia, and received threats from her ex-partner and his family. Back home, her family were also threatened by her ex-partner's family over not receiving their marriage dowry back after she left the marriage.
Her story reflects the complex issues that people – particularly young women – experiencing forced marriage face. Forced marriages often occur as families face pressure to maintain cultural and traditional standards that don’t allow young women to make their own decisions for their future, including whom and when to marry. Leaving or refusing to go through with a forced marriage can have consequences for both them and their families.
After leaving, Alyin faced homelessness, had medical issues that needed addressing, and feared that COVID-19 would make it difficult to find work. Red Cross worked alongside other service providers to help Alyin feel safe and make a fresh start.
By supporting Alyin with secure accommodation, connecting her with medical services, and helping her to reach her study and work goals, she’s on a path to a better and brighter future. Her achievements speak to her remarkable resilience, strength, and determination to make a better life for herself.