Model Killed Herself After Taking Out Forced Marriage Protection Order Against Her Parents
The Debrief: 24-year-old Nadia Menaz had already married her husband in an Islamic ceremony and they had a three-year-old child together, but the couple were never married under UK law
An inquest heard how 24 year-old married model and mother of one, Nadia Menaz hanged herself on May 1st, five months after taking out a forced marriage protection order to prevent her parents and three of her seven siblings from making her re-marry.
In 2010 Nadia met 25-year-old Umar Rasool and they began secretly dating until they married in an Islamic ceremony in April 2011. They couple went on to have a daughter one year into their marriage in 2012.
The inquest was told that while Nadia and Umar were already married, the union wasn’t formally confirmed under English law and her family didn’t approve of Umar.
Last December, Nadia took out a ‘forced marriage protection order’ against her mother Ruksana Kousar, 55, and her father Sabir Hussain, 60 as well as three of her seven siblings.
A ‘forced marriage protection order’ aims to prevent and protect women if they are being threatened with a forced marriage or are already in a forced marriage.
At a hearing both of Nadia’s parents denied attempting to force her into marriage as well as claiming that they were unaware of the ‘forced marriage protection order’, which they later admitted to knowing about during questioning.
Nadia’s mother, Ruksana said, 'Nadia was already married and she had a daughter as well so there was no point of having this forced marriage protection order.'
The coroner, Simon Nelson said that Nadia’s father had made it clear in a statement to the police that he had issues over Nadia’s relationship with Umar and claimed that a ‘third party’ had murdered his daughter.
Speaking through an interpreter, Nadia’s father, Sabir told the hearing that '[Umar] assaulted her physically. They used to have a lot of arguments at home. When I found out about the marriage protection order I was still in contact with her and totally shocked. I don’t believe my daughter killed herself.'
Nadia’s cousin Mohammad Nakash Ali, who said: 'She told me she was stressed about things that has happened in the past and she was dealing with things by self-harming. She said her relationship with her immediate family was very strained, she tried very hard to make amends but it wouldn’t work.'
Nadia also suffered from depression and underwent psychiatric treatment at Royal Oldham Hospital in the weeks before her death, but was later discharged.
Her husband, Umar told the inquest that '[Nadia] was being treated in hospital because of her depression and her life.
'That was when she cut her legs and was banging her head and cut her hair off. Nadia wanted to proceed with the discharge. We all agreed it at a meeting and she felt it would be better if she was at home. She would work endlessly despite me saying it was too much too quickly. Her mood deteriorated.'
On the day of her death, Nadia had argued with her husband who then went to see his family and to their local mosque.
She rang Umar and sent him a text saying she was going to hang herself and when Umar returned home he found Nadia’s body.
Police investigations ruled out any third party involvement and a post-mortem confirmed the cause of death as hanging while also noting 60 wounds to her thigh that appeared to be self-inflicted.
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