Safety and Exposure to Risk
Service providers must be aware that the individual seeking help may be at risk of facing violence and harm if their family learns that they have sought assistance.
Safety and confidentiality are of the utmost importance.
If you are dealing with a case of forced marriage, make sure that everyone in your agency who may come in contact with the individual at risk, or their family members, is adequately trained to handle such interactions. This would include:
- Anyone who answers the phone
- Anyone who responds to emails
- Anyone who may be in reception at the time that the individual at risk or their family members enter the agency
- Managers & Supervisors
- Anyone who will be providing services to the individual at-risk (swim instructor, employment counsellor, etc.)
Service providers themselves may receive threatening calls if a family member becomes aware that they are helping the victim.
- Outline the nature of confidentiality:
- Who has access to their information
- How the information is kept secure
- Who will not have access to their information
- Repeat assurances of confidentiality each time you interact with the client (in-person, phone, email)
- Report any breach of confidentiality to the client
Creating a Space That Encourages Disclosure
- Have resources about Forced Marriage on display
- Have posters about Forced Marriage on display
- Make forced marriage part of all dialogue on parent/child relations, VAW, etc.
- Sponsor and/or promote events & classes which include forced marriage