Your last chance if you decide to travel
If – in spite of the risk – you decide to travel abroad with your family, take emergency precautions BEFORE you leave!
1. Speak with someone you trust
Somebody should know that you are afraid. The best thing is to speak with a teacher or social worker at your school, with your trainer at work or with a youth welfare officer and tell them about your fears. If there are no adults that you can trust, please confide in a friend at least! Do not just chose a family member or a person who your family knows because they might be put under pressure if something serious happens.
The person you trust should know this:
- when your family plans to return from the holiday
- your address abroad
- how to reach you, f.ex., your mobile number and/or your email address
- a code word that you have agreed on. So you can tell her or him that your fears have come true without anyone else knowing
- Before you leave, give him or her your notes (see point 2) and copies of your papers (see point 3)
2. Note important information
- What is your name? When were you born?
- What is your mobile number and/or your email address?
- Where are you travelling and when? What is the date you plan to return?
- Who will you live with? (Names and address)
Also write down what you are afraid of:
- What are you afraid of?
- Why do you think that you will be forced into marriage or be left behind once you are abroad?
- What has happened or what do you think will happen?
- What have you seen or heard that has alarmed you?
3. Copy and save your documents
If your papers are taken from you when you are abroad, copies can be very useful. Hide these copies and leave a second set with a person you trust. Copy, scan or take a photo of your passport, your residence permit (if this applies to you) and your flight ticket.
Save your documents online. Many providers offer free online storage (f.ex., Microsoft’s OneDrive, Google’s GoogleDrive, Apple’s iCloud or Dropbox) or save your documents on a USB-stick and hide it well.
4. Buy a prepaid mobile and take money with you
It can save your life if you can phone someone.
Get an extra mobile phone (without a SIM lock) so you can phone from abroad and hide it in case your family takes away your mobile.
If you have money, you can pay for a taxi, a bus or at an Internet café.
5. Write down the address of your Embassy
If you have an European passport, your Embassy is responsible for you. It can also be helpful if you have or had a valid residence permit for your country.
Find out which Embassy is closest to where you will be abroad. Write down the address, opening hours, phone number and email address. Do some research online and find out the shortest way to get there.
Never go to the embassy spontaneously. The embassy will always need time to process your case and to possibly furnish substitute documents. Contact them first by phone or email.