Forced marriage figures continue fall

Family Law | 10 Mar 2016 3

A total of 1,220 forced marriages were reported to the Forced Marriage Unit last year: approximately three per day.

The Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) is jointly run by the Home Office and the Foreign Office. It revealed that the figure represents a drop of 47 cases, or three per cent, when compared to the previous year, continuing an overall downward trend since 2009. Coercing someone into marriage was made a criminal offence in June 2014.

However, the Unit insists that the number “may not reflect the full scale of the abuse.”

Around one in four of the cases – approximately 300 in total – involved children under the age of 18. The gender ratio was 80 per cent women to 20 per cent men.

No less than 44 per cent of the cases involved the risk of – or actual travel to – Pakistan. Seven per cent involved Bangladesh and six per cent India, followed by Somalia and Afghanistan, with three and two per cent of the cases respectively.

The Unit said:

“Since it was established in 2005, the FMU has worked with a range of organisations and professionals to increase their ability to support victims and potential victims. The fall in calls to the FMU in recent years may reflect this.”

Read more here.

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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Comments(3)

  1. Stitchedup says:

    Probably down to the ninja mutant hairdressers.

  2. Andrew says:

    These figures are meaningless. They purport to measure something which goes on behind closed doors and drawn curtains and rarely comes to the notice of any organ of the State.
    .
    If the parents of an adult daughter, still living at home, say
    .
    “Marry X or you will disgrace us and we and the rest of the extended family will never speak to you again”
    “Marry X or we will never speak to you again and you must get out of our home”
    “Marry X or get out, and we will leave you nothing when we die”
    .
    which if any of these constitutes forced marriage?
    .
    I would say none – and that there is nothing a Forced Marriage Prevention Order can do about any of them. You cannot make people be nice to other people; you cannot make them accommodate their adult offspring; you cannot stop them changing their wills.
    .
    It’s a rotten business, but we need to keep our feet on the ground and remember the limits of state power in a country which aspires to be free and values personal privacy and autonomy.

  3. Luke says:

    ===
    “However, the Unit insists that the number “may not reflect the full scale of the abuse.”
    ===
    .
    Of course they insist that, the problem they are dealing with is ALWAYS bigger despite their great success and of course needs more resources…
    .
    Look, I don’t know the truth of it either way because it IS a hard matter to quantify but what I would say is it must be extremely rare in the history of government for such a unit to say:
    .
    “Things are getting much better – we need less resources and less staff !” 😀

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