Forced marriage criminalised

Family | 16 Jun 2014 4

Forced marriage becomes a criminal offence today.

Under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, new provisions have been inserted into the existing Family Law Act 1996.

Section 120 makes the breach of a ‘forced marriage protection order’ a criminal offence. Such orders are issued to families suspected of planning a forced marriage. There will be a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment for anyone found guilty of such a breach.

Both the individuals concerned and concerned third parties, such as relatives, friends or police officers, can apply for forced marriage protection orders.

Section 121, meanwhile, criminalises the use of violence, threats and coercion in order to force someone into a marriage. This more serious offence will carry a maximum penalty of seven years behind bars.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. Guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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    3. Andrew says:

      Imagine the following addressed by a father to a daughter of full age:

      If you do not marry X your mother and I will never speak to you again.
      If you do not marry X you must leave my house.
      If you do not marry X you will get nothing in my will.

      Which if any is a “threat” for these purposes? You cannot force people to be nice to each other; you cannot force people to house their adult offspring; you cannot stop people changing their wills.

      I am concerned that a law like this can in the wrong hands become an instrument of social control over parents.

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      […] OCC will also look into the forced marriage of children, as it “invariably leads to child sexual […]

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