Police begin forced marriage awareness campaign

West Yorkshire Police have launched a new campaign to raise awareness of Forced Marriage, which will officially become a crime next month.

Under the new legislation, those found guilty of ‘Forced Marriage’ can face up to 7 years imprisonment.

Officers are attending a road-show in Leeds today (27/05), led by the charity Karma Nirvana in partnership with the Home Office Forced Marriage Unit which supports victims of the offence.

Forced marriage is a crime where one or both spouses do not, or cannot, consent to the marriage and duress is involved. This can include physical, psychological, financial, sexual and emotional pressure. But let me make it really clear that this is not the same as an ‘arranged marriage’ which is a totally legal practice and involves the consent of both spouses.

‘Forced Marriage’ is not specifically attached to a particular belief, culture or is it condoned through religion. The majority of reports received by West Yorkshire Police relate to women or girls aged between 13 and 30.

However, victims are not exclusively female, both men and women, young and old can be victims of forced marriage.

A link to the article can be found here.