The government’s Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) has launched their summer campaign against the abuse that is forced marriage. It will run from the 12th until the 22nd, which is in time to target the spike summer period where families use the opportunity of the long holiday to take individuals overseas for marriages. The FMU will be using this time to make potential victims aware of the risks, and potential perpetrators aware of the consequences.
The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 makes it a criminal offence to force someone to marry This includes:
- Taking someone overseas to force them to marry (whether or not the forced marriage takes place)
- Marrying someone who lacks the mental capacity to consent to the marriage (whether they’re pressured to or not)
- Breaching a Forced Marriage Protection Order is also a criminal offence
- The civil remedy of obtaining a Forced Marriage Protection Order through the family courts will continue to exist alongside the new criminal offence, so victims can choose how they wish to be assisted
- Details of the new law can be found on the Legislation website
Forcing someone to marry can result in a sentence of up to 7 years in prison, and
Disobeying a Forced Marriage Protection Order can result in a sentence of up to 5 years in prison.
In 2015, 27% of victims were under 18, 35% between 18-35, 20% were male and 2% LGBT
If you have any concerns that an individual is at risk of being forced into a marriage call Warwickshire Police (999/ 101) or the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 01926 414144
More information can be found here