How Spoons in Underwear Fight Forced Marriage

They serve as airport warning

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 16, 2013 8:27 AM CDT | Updated Aug 18, 2013 7:30 PM CDT

(Newser) – A charity in Britain has devised a clever last line of defense against forced marriage, and it involves an unusual trick: packing a spoon in your underwear. The Karma Nirvana charity suggests the move to victims being taken out of the UK via plane: The spoon will set off the metal detector at the airport, thus prompting security staff to search the victim—away from the parents who might be pushing the marriage in their families' countries of origin. British airport staff are already on the lookout for signs of potential forced marriages as youths are removed from the country, supposedly for vacation.

The metal detector "will highlight this object in a private area and, if 16 or over, (victims) will be taken to a safe space where they have that one last opportunity to disclose they're being forced to marry," says a charity rep. Victims are usually girls aged 15 or 16, but they have ranged in age from 2 to 71 years old, AFP reports. Britain's forced marriage unit last year saw 1,500 cases; 18% of the victims were male. Some 60 countries were cited in the cases; about half involved Pakistan. Others were tied to Bangladesh, India, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.

Spoons in victims' underwear can be a weapon against forced marriage.
Spoons in victims' underwear can be a weapon against forced marriage.   (Shutterstock)
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