Ban on forced marriages wins multi-faith welcome

Picture posed by models

Picture posed by models

First published in News by

RELIGIOUS leaders in the town celebrated as a new law banning forced marriage came into force yesterday.

Anybody convicted of forcing someone into marriage in England and Wales could now receive a maximum jail term of seven years under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

The Government hopes the new law, which also criminalises forcing a British national into marriage outside the UK, will protect thousands of potential victims at home and abroad and give victims the confidence to speak out.

Canon John Cunningham, parish priest at Holy Rood Catholic Church, joined religious leaders and politicians around the country in welcoming the new legislation.

He said: “I think sometimes arranged marriages can work but nobody should have to be forced to marry anybody that they don’t want to. So I think the law aims to protect people from these kinds of situations and overall I would be in support of that law.”

In the past, courts have only been able to issue civil orders to prevent victims being forced into marriage, and last year the Government’s Forced Marriage Unit dealt with 1,302 cases.

Some 15 per cent were under the age of 15, with 43 per cent of cases relating to Pakistan, 11 per cent to India and 10 per cent to Bangladesh.

Mansoor Khan, a spokesman for the Broad Street Mosque, was also pleased the practice has been banned.

He said: “Forced marriage is a problem in Asian communities whether it is Hindu, Sikh or anything else. But our religion does not allow it. It goes against our teachings.

“Our religion does not allow for forced marriage.

“I agree with the new law and it’s a really good thing. Forced marriage is disgusting.

“If a young man meets a girl he can go visit her at her home with a chaperone and if all is well they can go forward. That way nobody is hurt.”

A forced marriage is described as one in which one or both parties do not consent to the marriage but are coerced into it by physical, psychological, financial, sexual or emotional pressure.

Carol Ennis, from the local Jewish community, said: “As far as I am aware, Jews are not forced into any marriage of any kind in this country.

“As far as Jews are concerned, I am sure this does not happen.”

The Bishop of Swindon, the Rt Rev Dr Lee Rayfield, was unavailable for comment.

The change in law was originally announced in 2012 by Prime Minister David Cameron who said forced marriage was “abhorrent” and “little more than slavery”.

As well as outlawing the practice, breaching a civil Forced Marriage Protection Order (FMPO) will be punishable by five years in prison.

Home Secretary Theresa May said she was pleased this step had been taken.

She said: “Forced marriage is a tragedy for each and every victim, and its very nature means that many cases go unreported.

“I am proud to say that the UK is already a world leader in the fight to stamp out this harmful practice with the Government’s Forced Marriage Unit working hard to tackle this terrible practice in the UK and overseas.”

Comments (5)

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7:46am Tue 17 Jun 14

Alex English says...

You can pretty much guarantee that this will never happen:


Anybody convicted of forcing someone into marriage in England and Wales could now receive a maximum jail term of seven years under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.


In fact, I very much doubt anyone will go to prison for this new crime. It's much like the fact that FGM is a crime and yet nobody in the UK has ever gone to prison for it, despite the practice being well known about and quite frequent in certain circles.

All of this stuff may well be against the law, but we wouldn't want to upset the 'communuity', would we?
You can pretty much guarantee that this will never happen: [quote] Anybody convicted of forcing someone into marriage in England and Wales could now receive a maximum jail term of seven years under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. [/quote] In fact, I very much doubt anyone will go to prison for this new crime. It's much like the fact that FGM is a crime and yet nobody in the UK has ever gone to prison for it, despite the practice being well known about and quite frequent in certain circles. All of this stuff may well be against the law, but we wouldn't want to upset the 'communuity', would we? Alex English
  • Score: 6

11:05am Tue 17 Jun 14

Amberflame says...

Agree Alex. Far too much emphasis is place on community relations and the need to not upset those with certain religious/cultural beliefs . The lack of integration by certain communities has meant that FGM and forced marriages, etc. goes unchecked and unpunished in this country.
Agree Alex. Far too much emphasis is place on community relations and the need to not upset those with certain religious/cultural beliefs . The lack of integration by certain communities has meant that FGM and forced marriages, etc. goes unchecked and unpunished in this country. Amberflame
  • Score: 4

12:31pm Tue 17 Jun 14

Alex English says...

Very much so. Due to the very nature of the crimes and the communities who engage in them, it is often difficult for the police to obtain the evidence and witnesses they require. For that reason, and the fear of potentially causing protests, the crimes are often overlooked. It is no way to police.

forwarduk.org.uk is an excellent resource for those interested in learning more about the practice of FGM and how it can be stopped.
Very much so. Due to the very nature of the crimes and the communities who engage in them, it is often difficult for the police to obtain the evidence and witnesses they require. For that reason, and the fear of potentially causing protests, the crimes are often overlooked. It is no way to police. forwarduk.org.uk is an excellent resource for those interested in learning more about the practice of FGM and how it can be stopped. Alex English
  • Score: 3

1:20pm Tue 17 Jun 14

Hmmmf says...

Broad Street mosque spokesman said:
But our religion does not allow it. It goes against our teachings.

We hear exactly the same announcement about such things as people exploding themselves on public transport, or kidnapping 200 schoolgirls, or shooting schoolgirls in the head on a school bus, or so-called 'honour killings', or beheading people in the street in broad daylight. Never seems to stop these things happening in the name of religion though, does it.
[quote][p][bold]Broad Street mosque spokesman[/bold] said: But our religion does not allow it. It goes against our teachings.[/quote] We hear exactly the same announcement about such things as people exploding themselves on public transport, or kidnapping 200 schoolgirls, or shooting schoolgirls in the head on a school bus, or so-called 'honour killings', or beheading people in the street in broad daylight. Never seems to stop these things happening in the name of religion though, does it. Hmmmf
  • Score: 5

1:48pm Wed 18 Jun 14

house on the hill says...

Hmmmf wrote:
Broad Street mosque spokesman said:
But our religion does not allow it. It goes against our teachings.

We hear exactly the same announcement about such things as people exploding themselves on public transport, or kidnapping 200 schoolgirls, or shooting schoolgirls in the head on a school bus, or so-called 'honour killings', or beheading people in the street in broad daylight. Never seems to stop these things happening in the name of religion though, does it.
Religion and religious persecution is the second biggest killer the world has ever known after malaria. Add to that all the other atrocities and human rights breaches and its no wonder so many are turning against it. There is and never will be multiculturalism in this country and we should stop trying to pretend it will ever happen.

As others have said there may be a new law but it wont make a blind bit of difference in these "closed" communities where this will still continue to happen against a backdrop of fear and subjugation
[quote][p][bold]Hmmmf[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Broad Street mosque spokesman[/bold] said: But our religion does not allow it. It goes against our teachings.[/quote] We hear exactly the same announcement about such things as people exploding themselves on public transport, or kidnapping 200 schoolgirls, or shooting schoolgirls in the head on a school bus, or so-called 'honour killings', or beheading people in the street in broad daylight. Never seems to stop these things happening in the name of religion though, does it.[/p][/quote]Religion and religious persecution is the second biggest killer the world has ever known after malaria. Add to that all the other atrocities and human rights breaches and its no wonder so many are turning against it. There is and never will be multiculturalism in this country and we should stop trying to pretend it will ever happen. As others have said there may be a new law but it wont make a blind bit of difference in these "closed" communities where this will still continue to happen against a backdrop of fear and subjugation house on the hill
  • Score: 1

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