Gay Muslims made homeless by family violence

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The Albert Kennedy Trust is dealing with an increasing number of young gay Muslims becoming homeless after fleeing forced marriages and so-called honour violence.

Trust worker Annie Southerst said in the past six months there has been an increase in the number of Muslims coming to them for help.

“They face threats of physical violence, actual violence and restriction of liberties,” she said.

“We’ve had people chased out of the house with knives and we have had issues around young people who had exorcisms planned to get rid of the gay demons, I suppose.”

“They come to us because they’re homeless, or in danger of being homeless imminently. We sort out emergency accommodation for them.”

“But the biggest loss they face is the loss of their families.”

“I can’t imagine what it must be like to suddenly in your late teens, early 20s suddenly not to have a family anymore.”

Using laws introduced by the government in November 2008, the charity has taken out four Forced Marriage Protection orders in the past few months.