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Definition - A forced marriage is defined as a marriage conducted where consent of the bride, groom or both has been obtained through emotional pressure or physical abuse.
Statistics - Most cases involve girls and women under the age of 30. Around 85% of the cases reported to the government's Forced Marriage Unit involve women and 15% involve men
Victims with Disabilities - Children and young people with mental and physical disabilities are also vulnerable to forced marriage and cases have been reported. They may have communication difficulties and may have fewer opportunities to tell anyone what is happening to them.
Impact - Victims may suffer mental abuse, domestic violence, abduction, unlawful imprisonment, loss of property and assets, humiliation and even rape. This violence may lead to loss of self-confidence: feelings of shame, isolation and disempowerment: a loss of educational and career opportunities: removal from the victim's family or familiar environment and in many cases self-harm.
Reasons - Forced marriage cannot be justified on religious grounds: every major faith condemns it. A range of reasons are often used such as assisting British citizenship, strengthening family links, controlling unwanted behaviour, family honour etc. No matter what the justifications, forced marriage is a form of abuse and breaches internationally recognised human rights standards.
The Law - Forced marriage became a criminal offence in June 2014. Anyone forcing a person to get married can be arrested and imprisoned and sentenced up to 7 years. However victims can choose to protect themselves through civil law. They can ask (or someone can do it on their behalf) the court to make a Forced Marriage Protection Order (FMPO), preventing a person to be forced into marriage.
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Asha Forced Marriage
0208 696 0023
Asha offers safe temporary accommodation for South Asian women and children fleeing domestic violence, including forced marriage.
Provides support, advice and create a forum for vulnerable women, particularly of South Asian origin, who have left home forcefully or voluntarily. This could be partially or wholly as a result of disownment; potential, perceived or real threat of domestic or honour-based violence; forced intercourse and or marriage; persecution over sexual preferences; or indeed other forms of cultural conflict.
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