Think long and hard about travelling abroad
Many girls look forward to the holidays and to again seeing their relations who live abroad. However, if the holidays suddenly come to an end and the parents return to Germany without them, the fun is over. Once the girls live with their relations in a village or they are supposed to marry their cousin, things can get very serious.
- You are not on holiday yet.
- You don’t know what to do.
- You are afraid that once the holidays are over you won’t be allowed to return – but you hope that somehow things will work out alright.
- You do not want to hurt your family.
- Running away seems too big a step for you.
If you have to stay in a foreign country against your will, life as you know it is over, especially if you also have to get married! Act BEFORE you travel abroad!
Once you are abroad, it is difficult to return.
Don’t risk anything and take your fears seriously!
This will increase your risk:
- Your family thinks that you are getting less and less obedient.
- Your family has found out that you have a boyfriend.
- Your family plans to live in their country of origin again.
- Your family hasn’t booked a return flight.
- Your residency permit has expired.
- You have left school and are not doing any vocational training.
- You are still a minor and your parents have custody.
- You do not have an European passport.
- You are regarded as a national in your parents’ country of origin, so foreign law applies to you.
- You have many relations abroad who you could live with.
- Your family wants you to marry a relation/an acquaintance.
- You family does not want you to be independent: you should become a housewife and have children.
- Your family places great emphasis on observing family traditions.
Do one or more risk factors apply to you?
Do you think you are at risk? Then take action!
How you can prevent travelling abroad
- Say no! Tell you family that you do not want to go abroad with them. This won’t be easy, but don’t forget what is at stake!
- If you do not dare to turn openly against your family, make up a reason why you cannot travel with them: you might have to do an internship, for example, or you might fall sick or you might need urgent medical attention.
- Sometimes nothing works and your family don’t take you seriously. Then you have to think about whether you would like to leave your family and run away. You should know that a separation needn’t last forever. When you go to a girls’ or women’s shelter, you will not have to leave the country, that is for sure. You will buy time and be able to think about things. From this safe location you can contact your family and figure out what should happen next.
- Even at the very last minute, at the airport, you can call the police or tell the security staff at the border that you are being forced to leave against your will. The police there can protect you and take you to a shelter.