Farah's story

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At 18-years-old Farah was forced by her family to marry a man 20 years her senior, and to become a servant in his household.

“Forced marriage is unfortunately still a big part of Moroccan culture,” Farah said. “It’s not about money, it’s about culture. As soon as a woman finishes education, they have to get married. They are not allowed to be single. Single or divorced women are looked down upon by society and treated badly. If a seventy-year-old man wants to marry a 17-year-old girl, her family will say yes.”

Farah frequently tried to return to her family home to escape her husband’s physical and emotional abuse, but every time she ran, he would find her and bring her back.

After ten years of abuse, Farah knew she would have to leave Morocco if she was to ever be free of her husband’s violence.

“When I ran away it was scary. It was like running away from prison. I knew that if he caught me, he would punish me, so I knew I had to go somewhere where nobody knew me,” said Farah. “So I got on a plane to the UK. I was covered in bruises and signs of violence, so the Home Office asked me what had happened, and referred me to Causeway’s modern slavery services.”

Thanks to support from Causeway, Farah is now enjoying her life, working in a job she enjoys, and living with friends.

 “Causeway helped me be free and become independent. They helped me financially, spiritually and psychologically. If I needed anything my case worker would always support me. I feel able to do things now that I couldn’t before. I’ve got more confidence, and I’m happy.”