The Indy’s Jerome Taylor had this good report in the paper yesterday:
British campaigners received a boost in May when a cross-party group of MPs recommended that forced marriage be turned into a criminal offence to send a stronger message that it will not be tolerated.
The Home Affairs Select Committee, which took soundings from a variety of different groups working to counter forced marriage, stated that it was “not at all clear” that current legislation was protecting those at risk.
“Criminalising forced marriages would help people like me enormously,” insists Saima. “I would have been able to tell my parents unequivocally that what they were doing was not just wrong but wholly illegal. I would have felt like the law was on my side.”
Currently it is not illegal to force someone to marry though criminal offences – such as kidnap, rape, and assault – may be committed in the course of carrying out one. The problem is that prosecutions are incredibly rare, partly because many of the actual crimes take place abroad and partly because they are so difficult to prove when vulnerable victims are often unwilling to prosecute their own families.
“It’s often looked at as a protection issue not a policing one,” admits one police source. “There’s a lot of reluctance about the idea of introducing a new offence.”
Read the whole article – its very good and nuanced.
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Filed in: 'Honour'-based violence,British Identity