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School holidays forced marriage warning

The Foreign Office has called on teachers, doctors and airport staff to be aware of possible victims of forced marriage during the school holidays.

Forced marriage cases typically peak during the summer months, it said. The government’s Forced Marriage Unit received 400 reports between June and August 2012.

Foreign Office Minister Mark Simmonds said victims were sometimes flown abroad thinking they were going on holiday, only to be forced into marriage instead.

“The school summer holidays are the time when young people are at the highest risk of being taken overseas for a forced marriage. Our Marriage: It’s Your Choice cards highlight that people who are at risk of forced marriage know they can turn to our Forced Marriage Unit for support, whether they are at home or are already abroad.”

The Marriage: It’s Your Choice information cards contain details of a helpline for victims.

Aneeta Prem is founder of children’s organisation the Freedom Charity. She said: “It’s vital that young people travelling abroad for a family wedding this summer realise it could be their own wedding they’ll be going to and know who they should contact for help should they find themselves in danger.”

The government is also planning making breaches of forced marriage protection orders a criminal offence, the BBC reports. These prohibit actions which could lead to forced marriage but  breaches are currently only a criminal offence in Scotland.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Luke says:

    It is good that this matter is at least starting to be addressed more urgently now, cultural political correctness has prevented this from happening in the near past – let’s see if the government is willing to really get to grips with it.

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