Tipton Teens take part in Forced Marriage play

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Production to be used to create awareness about Forced Marriage

A GROUP of girls from Tipton Muslim Centre performed a powerful play about forced marriages to mark a national day against domestic abuse.

The 11 to 17-year-olds were part of an event held at The Public in West Bromwich to mark White Ribbon Day on November 25.

This also included a one-minute silence as a mark of respect to lives lost through domestic and honour-based violence.

The theatre play titled Your Choice Your Future – written and directed by Salochana Devi, who is a member of Sandwell’s Forced Marriage Steering Group -communicates a powerful message that forced marriage is not acceptable and is an abuse of human rights.

It is part of a broader awareness-raising campaign in Sandwell which is being promoted by Sandwell Organisations Against Domestic Abuse (SOADA).

The central character in the play, the father of two young daughters, sees the error of his ways and comes to an understanding that marriage should always be an individual’s choice.

He decides to change his ways for the happiness of his family, not to fit a place in society and be blinded by others.

It is intended that the play will be used to raise awareness and debate about the issue with both young people and communities.

The evening focused on forced marriage and ‘honour-based violence’ through presentations and songs specially written for the event.

This included a song called Can You Hear Me? written and sung by Salochana Devi, as a tribute to the many victims who have died as a direct result of honour-based violence.

It is anticipated that this song will be available for downloading and all proceeds going to an organisation dealing with this issue.

Sandwell’s Mayor Councillor Pauline Hinton opened the event and, together with Councillor Derek Rowley, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for safer communities, presented all the young women with certificates of achievement for their hard work and dedication.

Councillor Rowley said: “It is important that this issue is owned and discussed by young people in a proactive way.

“The performance was an inspiration and showed real engagement from these young people. Considering none of the cast had performed before, they demonstrated great confidence and ability. The audience really appreciated this wonderful performance.”

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