Savera UK Youth help create forced marriage comic 

Savera UK and Savera UK Youth have worked with academics, peer organisations and school children to develop a comic designed to help children aged 13 to 16 understand the risks and signs of forced marriage and learn how to protect themselves from abuse.

The educational comic created by Savera UK Advisory Board member and legal expert, Dr Hannah Baumeister, at Liverpool John Moores University and supported by research by Dr Helen McCabe at the University of Nottingham, explores the issue and also helps teenagers to act as allies to those at risk or already experiencing forced marriage.

Members of Savera UK Youth worked alongside the Savera UK team to review and give feedback on suggestions and ideas to ensure the effectiveness of the comic. Nottingham Girls’ Academy and Childwall Sports and Science Academy, Liverpool, also helped to develop the comic, with oversight and guidance from the universities and specialist charities working to end forced marriage, Savera UK and Karma Nirvana. Both schools have trialled the comic in PSHE lessons with very positive reactions from students. 

You can read about Savera UK Youth Advisory Board Member, Hannah Gloudon, who participated in the project at the “Drawing on Forced Marriage” blog here.

As well as the comic, the project team also developed a teaching pack for education providers to allow them to teach students about the issues surrounding forced marriage and how to spot the signs in order to prevent it. 

Forced marriage: Scale & signs

In 2022, around 300 people asked the UK Forced Marriage Unit for advice, with one in three of them being under the age of 18.

Telltale signs such as a lack of independence, poor school grades, decline in behaviour and disappearing from social media are all featured in the book, which stresses that although forced marriages are more common in some communities, they can happen to people of any ethnicity, culture, religion and nationality.

Dr Baumeister, of the LJMU School of Law, said of the project: “The law is there to help protect people by way of Forced Marriage Protection Orders and by criminalising forced marriage. However, not everyone knows this and even when they do, people might not want to report their experience. Therefore, support and advice delivered by expert organisations as well as education are key to prevent and end forced marriage.”

To learn more about forced marriage, visit the Savera UK Learning Hub.

If you think you or someone you know might be at risk of forced marriage you can call Savera UK on 0800 107 0726 (Monday – Friday 10 am – 4 pm) or contact us through our website.

Individual referral:

Professional referral: 

If the risk is immediate, please call 999