Despite the notable work that these authorities clearly do, many were only set up relatively recently. Since the 1960s, young women have been experiencing disempowerment at the hands of their own families.
Forced into an arranged marriage © Thinkstock
Speaking to the Guardian in 2009, Jasvinder Chana-Glen, now 40, speaks of how she ran away from home aged 17 in 1979. She said, “I grew up in Birmingham and I knew from a very early age that I would have an arranged marriage, from as young as 11 or 12. All my sisters had been married through the arranged system. I was very frightened by what I saw them go through and I wanted to leave. But I didn't imagine the repercussions of disownment would be just as bad as if I'd had an arranged marriage, but they were.”
As well as being ostracized from the Sikh community in which she grew up in, Jasvinder has had to deal with the suicide of her sister who was forced into marriage.
To avoid the shame of divorce, Robina, 24, thought the only way out was to kill herself. Jasvinder receives death threats, has had human feces smeared on her window and has even felt it necessary to have a dog for protection. But like many women who have been disowned by their families, Jasvinder has turned her life around.