Not Everyone Can Celebrate Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and whether you love it or hate it, are taken or single, it can be hard to avoid the pink, the hearts and the chocolate. However you feel about February 14th, at its core it's a holiday about showing the one you love how much they mean to you. But what if doing this was a crime in your country? What if being with your soul-mate was punishable by imprisonment, torture or death? Sadly this is the case for millions of people across the world today. Here at Her Campus Exeter, at this time when we celebrate love, we think its important to remember that this terrible injustice still permeates society today. The following paint a tiny picture of just how difficult life is in some parts of the world for those whose love deviates from ‘normalcy’.


Stoned to Death for Marrying the Man She Loved


Farzana Paveen, 25, was killed on Tuesday 27 May by her own family, for marrying for love against their wishes. What’s worse is this brutal murder took place in broad daylight, in front of the high court of Lahore. People must have seen as nearly 20 members of the woman’s family beat her and her husband with batons and bricks.  Although the woman’s father has been arrested, that such an atrocity could take place so publicly shows a deeply flawed sense of justice.


Source: The Guardian



Children Murdered for their Faith


The crimes of ISIS are too many and horrific to count. One of their numerous ‘reasons’ for killing others is due to religion, including a group of young Iraqi Christians who were asked to convert to Islam to avoid death. Their reply was “No, We Love Yeshua (Jesus).”


Source: MY OCN


Countries where your Sexuality is a Crime


Although the exact number is debated, at least 76 countries in the world still consider homosexuality a crime. The punishment varies wildly, from forced rehabilitation to imprisonment, torture to execution. This list of countries doesn’t even include those such as Russia who have enacted an “anti-gay propaganda law” prohibiting the positive discussion of homosexuality in the presence of minors.


Source: 76 Crimes



Forced to Marry a Stranger


Although here in the UK, it is generally far easier, and more acceptable, to love who you choose, the sad reality is that many people still cannot. Forced marriages still occur frequently in the UK, with 1302 cases being dealt with in 2013, 82% of victims being female, and 15% under the age of 15. Less than a year ago it finally became a true criminal offence to force someone into a marriage (previously only being a civil order) but sadly many families still see nothing wrong with their child marrying someone against their wishes.


Source: BBC


So this Valentine’s Day, spare a thought for those who are bullied or punished for loving who they wish and remember that such prejudice is not always happening very far away.