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.”
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