Sufiya Ahmed has written a novel about forced marriage, Secrets of the Henna Girl.
Published in 2012, it tells the story of an everyday teenager, waiting for her GCSE results, looking forward to college and dreaming of the day she will meet her one true love.
But her parents have other plans and, in Pakistan for the summer, Zeba’s world is shattered as her future is threatened by an unthinkable – and forced – duty to protect her father’s honour.
That’s one for the list.
Sufiya was working in the House of Commons as a researcher for an MP when she encountered countless brave Asian women who shared their harrowing experiences with parliamentarians so awareness of the issue could be raised on a national level.
She said: “I was horrified at what the survivors were saying.
“I was shocked that British-born women who were brought up in this country were going through this in the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s.
“We had this attitude that it’s the Asian culture, we mustn’t interfere.
“We had this liberal idea that we can’t interfere in other people’s cultures.
“Actually no, we need to talk about these things.
“Talking about it does raise awareness.
“The survivors talk about just 15 years ago, they were on the receiving end of hatred, people would attack them.
“They had their tyres slashed and windows broken, just for speaking out.
“It’s no longer okay to say, this is our community — you can’t interfere.
“If there’s a human abuse going on, social services and the police should be involved.”
The tide is turning.