Growing Up Married

3rd April 2017

We would like to take the opportunity to introduce you to Dr Eylem Atakav, who is a Senior Lecturer in Film and Television Studies at the University of East Anglia and is a member of the Honour Based Abuse, Forced Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation multi-agency partnership group. Dr Atakav’s recent documentary, Growing Up Married, focuses on the accounts of 4 women in Turkey who were subject to abuse as child brides and makes their experiences visible, while contributing to debates around this significant, complex and emotionally charged human rights issue which has often been discursively silenced.

Dr Atakav teaches courses on women and film; women, Islam and media; and Middle Eastern media. She is the author of Women and Turkish Cinema: Gender Politics, Cultural Identity and Representation (2012) and editor of Directory of World Cinema: Turkey (Intellect, 2013).

Growing Up Married, which has English subtitles, is extremely powerful and would be an engaging medium to allow professionals and communities to talk about the issues of child brides and child marriages.

The issue of child marriages crosses international borders and the statistics from the Forced Marriage Unit shows that its assistance was sought in the UK, where it involved a child victim, through its public helpline. Of the total amount of cases reported to the FMU the table below shows the percentages of cases where a child was assisted in the UK. The use of the term ‘victim’ includes individuals thought to be at potential risk of future forced marriage, those currently going through a forced marriage, and those who have already been forced to marry.

Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) cases reported where a child was involved. Aged 15 years and under Aged between 16-17 years Total number of case, advice or support provided by FMU
2013 15% 25% 1302
2014 11% 11% 1267
2015 14% 13% 1220
2016 15% 26% 1428

These statistics only represent the cases that have been reported to the FMU. Forced marriage is a hidden crime, and these figures may not reflect the full scale of the abuse.

Dr Atakav would like to engage with professionals and communities regarding this documentary and would urge anyone to contact her direct for further information regarding the use of the film, Growing Up Married. All contact details for Dr Atakav are contained within the attached document.

It is a timely reminder with the summer holidays only months away the Honour Based Abuse, Forced Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation Multiagency partnership group is urging agencies and communities across the county to be alert to the dangers of forced marriage.

Such cases are known to rise over the summer break with young people at the highest risk of being taken overseas for a forced marriage. Victims often thinking they are being taken away on holiday only to be forced into marriage instead.

Click here to view the trailer for this film and a Growing Up Married flyer.

Further information regarding the help and support about the issues of forced marriage can be accessed on our Further Safeguarding Resources pages and on Norfolk Constabulary Forced Marriage web pages.

Back to Blog