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Schools needed for Shafilea pilot
1:00pm Friday 20th September 2013 in News
THE creator of a Shafilea Ahmed memorial page on Facebook is calling on schools in the town to be a pilot for an education initiative around forced marriage.
It is 10 years this month since the Great Sankey teenager was killed by her parents for wanting to live a western lifestyle.
Alex, who lives near Cardiff, said he saw Shafilea’s story on the news and was so touched by it he decided to set up a group in her name on Facebook.
The 26-year-old claims the group has provided comfort for Shafilea’s sister Alesha and doubled its number of members following the murder trial last year.
He added: “I felt a spark and connection when I saw the news stories and I’ve had so many people contact me through the memory page who have been touched by her case.
“It’s been amazing the number of people from Warrington who have told me their memories and what they want to see for the future.
“We have a 643 strong member community who are active in campaigning for greater awareness through education and this group has brought a lot of people together.
“Many have come forward to speak up about the personal pain they have been put through by their families and it is resource for those needing assistance in finding help as well on quite a few occasions.”
The group has led to Alex being made education co-ordinator for Auxilium, which means assistance in Latin and was set up by a forced marriage survivor to provide professional training and consultancy on issues including forced marriages, honour-based abuse and domestic violence.
Alex added: “Education is at the heart of it because education is empowerment.
“Sensitivity is a paramount issue and we need to change it so people suffering who then try to reach out for help don’t hit another barrier.
“It’s about talking to the person and providing a safety net to protect them from abuse.
“Shafilea Ahmed's voice lives on and with a frontline education programme we can save lives.”
Search for the Shafilea Ahmed Memorial Group on Facebook or visit auxilium-uk.org for more information.
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