Forced marriage: spotting the signs
Health professionals are in a good position to provide early and effective intervention
Sebiya came to the UK from Sudan after a forced marriage. When she arrived, she was prevented from leaving the house, discouraged from learning English, and was abused by her husband and his extended family. On one occasion after her husband had beaten her, she attended the local hospital. Her husband went with her.
The consultant she saw spoke the same language as Sebiya. He asked the husband to leave, but he refused. The consultant managed to get Sebiya to follow him into another room, and he closed the door, leaving her husband outside. He asked Sebiya if she was OK and Sebyia told him her story.
In the middle of his morning clinic, he dropped everything and phoned the police and social care services. They collected her from the hospital and found her a place in a refuge.
Sebiya believes the consultant saved her life. This story is just