Berkshire

Slough charity to train hairdressers to spot forced marriage

Hairdressers and beauticians are to be trained to spot the signs of forced marriage.

Slough charity Jeena International is launching an initiative in the Houses of Parliament later.

Founder Rani Bilku said people in the wedding industry would be trained to identify potential victims and know who to alert.

Potential signs included a booking being made days ahead of the event or by someone other than the bride.

Ms Bilku said: "If a professional thinks, something doesn't add up, we want to make sure they know where to go.

"We make sure we are imparting key knowledge to these professionals that they can put everything together to see whether or not there is a safeguarding issue for potentially a forced marriage."

There will be a series of 15 workshops across the country for beauticians and hairdressers and people in the wedding industry.

Tahima was forced into marriage age 16. She said: "I hated every minute of it. I just wanted to escape. That could have meant continuing to live or to die.

"I thought, 'I want my freedom' and wanted to do what all the other people at my age were doing, which was going to college."

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