Monday, 12 December 2011

Forced marriage victims could number 8,000 as ministers plan to make it illegal

Up to 8,000 victims are forced in to marriage every year as ministers yesterday unveiled plans to criminalise the “appalling” practice. 

 The number of cases of forced marriage is increasing annually and Theresa May, the Home Secretary, said it was time to reject “perceived cultural sensitivities” and tackle the problem.

Under proposals published yesterday forcing someone in to wedlock against their will would become a criminal offence in its own right for the first time.

Breaching an existing Forced Marriage Civil Protection Order (FMPO) would also become a criminal act with up to five years behind bars, in plans under consultation.

Even someone who knows an order is being breached but says nothing, such as a mother, could face the full weight of the law.

The move follows a commitment by David Cameron to consider making forced marriage illegal.

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