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  My family forced me to get married
Updated 08 November 2004, 17.27
This picture was posed by an actress
Rupali ran away from her family after she was forced to get married. With the help of the children's charity Barnardos she's started a new life.

She's so scared her family will find her she's changed her name and is no longer in touch with her old friends.

"I had no idea that my parents were going to force me to get married.

One day they asked me to go abroad to see my aunty, they said she was poorly.

I trusted my parents and they said it was just for a couple of weeks.

No escape

I flew to Pakistan by myself. When I got off the plane my uncle met me. He took my passport, I thought he was trying to protect me, in case someone tried to snatch my purse.

Her uncle took her passport
Her uncle took her passport

We went to a village and I just tried to enjoy myself. It was strange. I wasn't allowed to talk to my parents back in the UK.

Really worried

But after that first few weeks I got really worried. I thought something was up especially when I realised that my exams were passing.

But I spoke to my parents and they said it was okay they said they were all coming out.

Watch Newsround ExtraWatch the Newsround Extra on Forced Marriages

They came out and stayed for a few weeks but then they went back to the UK, leaving me in Pakistan.

Then I had a feeling they were going to get me married off. I knew if I didn't get married I couldn't come back to the UK.


On the day I got married I just felt like running away. Everyone was celebrating but I was miserable.

When I got back my parents said I couldn't live with them anymore because I was a married woman. They made me go and live with my in laws-they but didn't treat me right so I had to leave there.

New life

Then I found out about Barnardos. They've found me somewhere to live somewhere where no-one can find me.

I had to leave all my friends and my family behind. I can't speak to them anymore.

My parents married me off because they thought it was the best for me but it wasn't - it ruined my life."


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