Growing Up Married: A Documentary about Forced Marriage in Turkey Growing Up Married: A Documentary about Forced Marriage in Turkey

Dr Eylem Atakav


Growing Up Married is a 2016 documentary by Eylem Atakav which focuses on the stories of child brides, from Turkey, recollecting their memories as adults. It explores what happens the consequences of forced marriage by focusing on the stories of four women, and making their experiences visible, while contributing to debates around this significant, complex and emotionally charged human rights issue which has often been discursively silenced.


Research Overview

Approaches to Forced Marriage: Bringing cultural experience into dialogue with institutional training practices in the UK Police Force: The anticipated impact is at the level of policy and institutional change. The impact narrative here has been shaped by and aims to strengthen the links with UEA’s partnership with Norfolk Constabulary.

Shifting the content of the training provided by the Police Force and the Forced Marriage Unit (initially locally with a view on it being taken up at national level). These institutions provide training to the police force as well as a range of communities including teachers, those in social care as well as county councils and the NHS. I work in collaboration with Norfolk Constabulary to effectively adding new and original content to the training programmes they offer around child marriages.

The overall impact narrative will therefore highlight the ways in which my research influences institutional understandings of training practices that the Police Force uses to address issues around forced marriage.

What Next

Building on the success of Growing Up Married, and continuing collaboration with the Norfolk Constabulary, Eylem will be working towards a new short documentary about forced marriage in Norfolk.

Film Screenings and Q&As:

  • (Forthcoming) University of Leicester, May 2017
  • (Forthcoming) University of Glasgow, 2017 (date tbc)
  • (Forthcoming) UK Parliament, February 2017 (date tbc)
  • 15th Dhaka International Film Festival Official Selection, January 2017.
  • (In consideration) Stockholm Feminist Film Festival, 2017
  • (In consideration) Chicago Feminist Film Festival, 2017
  • (In consideration) Human Rights Film Festival, 2017
  • University of Warwick, 2016
  • Phoenix Cinema, London, 2016
  • University of East Anglia, 2016

Selected Keynotes/Papers:

  • Growing Up Married: Child Marriage in Turkey and on Screen’, House of Lords, Women’s Rights in the World seminar, 2016 (by invitation of Baroness Gould).
  • ‘From Theory to Practice: Reflections of an academic making a documentary’, University of Cambridge, British Association of Turkish Area Studies, 2016.
  • ‘Child Brides on Screen: Growing Up Married’, Doing Women’s Film and Television History Network Conference, Phoenix Cinema, Leicester, May 2016.
  • ‘Until Every Child is Safe: Representing “Legitimised” Abuse and Child Brides on Screen’, University of East London, The Centre for Research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging Research Seminars, December 2015.

The trailer to the film:

Website to the film:

Reuters article:

The F-Word article: 


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