Arieta Batirerega- Student
What is Forced Marriage?
Forced marriage is when you face physical pressure to marry (for example, threats, physical violence or sexual violence) or emotional and psychological pressure (e.g. if you’re made to feel like you’re bringing shame on your family if you refuse).
What does the Law say?
The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 made it a criminal offence in England, Wales and Scotland to force someone to marry.
- 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).
Forcing someone to marry can result in a sentence of up to 7 years in prison.
The Current position
Since 2014, there have been four convictions relating to this across the UK. While legislation has seen a rise in people reporting concerns, many are unaware it is a crime and, therefore do not seek help. .
A government spokesman said its forced marriage campaign was “raising awareness amongst the public and potential victims”. The government is encouraging people affected by this to contact its helpline.
Here at Staffordshire University Legal Advice Clinic we can advise on family related issues. If we cannot help, we will be able to refer you to another organisation who may be able to assist. Please call 01782 294800 for an appointment.